Brain Waves to Cut Braking Distances

This latest breakthrough came from the Berlin Institute for Technology where a team of scientists revealed that “hacking” into a driver’s brain signals can cut braking distances and avoid crashes. A team of researchers attached electrodes to the scalps of volunteers while being inside a driving simulator.The amazing achievement was that the system detected the intention to brake, and managed to cut more than 3m (10ft) off stopping distances.

The next step for the engineering team is to check the system in a series of road tests. The volunteers during the program were asked to keep a 20m (66ft) distance behind the simulated car in front, which was braking sharply at random intervals. The technique used to analyze the driver’s brain signals is known as electroencephalography (EEG). Using this method the system was able to detect the intention to brake 13 hundredths of a second before pressure on the brakes was applied by the driver.The engineers reported a braking distance reduction by 3.66 meters (12 feet) at 100km/h (65m/h).

"We know that any intention is generated in the brain. So it's no wonder that such things are visible in the brain.We were surprised it is so predictive. That is the thing!" Stefan Haufe Computer Scientist was quoted as saying by BBC News.

"It's quite easily explained by the fact that we can tap the driver's intention at the source of the build up of intention in the brain. It's a longer process, from the very first upcoming cognitive processes and intention building, until finally the muscles start the movement."Benejamin Blankertz Lead Investigator was quoted as saying by the aforementioned source.

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