Jaguar Land Rover wants to put heart monitors in driver’s seats, touchscreens that work before your finger actually hits it, haptic feedback on pedals, and give its vehicles the ability to read and manage your emotions through technology.

The company’s Mind Sense project is researching how a vehicle can measure brainwaves to keep tabs on driver concentration and stress, bringing your eyes back to the road with alerts and calming you down with mood lighting.

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Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Research and Technology Dr Wolfgang Epple explains: “If brain activity indicates a daydream or poor concentration, then the steering wheel or pedals could vibrate to raise the driver’s awareness and re-engage them with driving... If Mind Sense does not detect a surge in brain activity following the car displaying a warning icon or sound, then it could display it again, or communicate with the driver in a different way, to ensure the driver is made aware of a potential hazard.”

The company posits that “the human brain continually generates four or more distinct brainwaves at different frequencies. By continually monitoring which type of brainwave is dominant, an on-board computer could potentially assess whether a driver is focused, daydreaming, sleepy, or distracted.”

Apparently such brainwaves are typically detected by sensors on a headband, which Jaguar Land Rover recognizes would be ridiculous in a car, so they’re hoping to use sensors in the steering wheel to read your mind. They say the tech “amplifies the signal” since the pickup is far from your brain, but NASA and the US Bobsled Team already use such tech to keep tabs on their people in action.

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To complement the car’s “sixth sense” awareness of its driver’s emotional state, Jaguar Land Rover wants to put hospital technology into seats that can monitor a driver’s physical health. Dr Epple says; “If the car detects severe health issues, or simply how alert the driver is, then the car could take steps to ensure the driver is focussed enough on the driving task to take over.”

Jaguar Land Rover wants to tie this all in with convenience as well as safety, adding a “mid-air touch” predictive touchscreen that does exactly what you think it does and haptic feedback in the pedals to stop you from pushing too hard.

This company has really been going nuts with the speculative tech over the last few months, it’s going to be interesting to see how much of it makes its way to the road.

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Images via Jaguar Land Rover


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.