Jaguar is in the process of developing a technology which seems to be ripped from the pages of a 1960s sci-fi novel. The new tech, called Mind Sense, records and analyzes the driver’s brainwaves to determine when the driver is fatigued or beginning to daydream.
Traditionally, brainwaves are recorded through sensors embedded in a headband, and secured around the head of the patient. Jaguar deemed this too cumbersome for luxury-car drivers to wear on a daily basis, so NASA-developed sensors are embedded in the steering wheel to pick up the signals. If the system detects the driver is daydreaming, unfocused, or tired, the steering wheel and/or brake pedal will vibrate to alert the driver and bring them back to focus on driving.
In addition to brain wave monitoring, Jaguar is researching in-vehicle systems that monitor the heartbeat and breathing patterns of the driver to determine alertness level and physical health. If the system believes the driver is not alert or is dozing off, the car could issue a warning to increase awareness, or even take over the controls briefly to come to a safe stop. The idea is to help warn customers that they are too distracted or too tired to drive safely, hopefully preventing an accident.
Following offerings from other manufacturers like BMW and Cadillac, Jaguar is developing hand gesture controls for infotainment and climate, in a bid to reduce the time the driver’s eyes leave the road. The system would feature haptic feedback to alert the driver of a successful input.
Finally, Jaguar is experimenting with a haptic accelerator pedal, which physically pushes against the driver’s foot to warn the driver when he or she has exceeded the speed limit, or when accelerating too aggressively in low-traction conditions.