If I said, “Hey, super cool and good-looking person who reads my blog, I’ve got a new car that can read your mind,” you could probably come up with a pretty long list of stuff that the car could potentially do with this mind-reading capability that would be super helpful whilst driving.
Perchance the car could sense that you wanted your window down about halfway, and it would roll the window down automatically, so you wouldn’t have to take your hands off the wheel. Maybe it could tell if you wanted to skip the song that just came on the stereo, and do it for you so you don’t get distracted while driving. Or maybe it could even sense that you were about to change lanes, and it would turn on your signal before you started your lateral movement.
The new so-called mind-reading concept car from Nissan does none of those things. Instead, it has one of the most useless—and dangerous—autonomous features ever.
Project Your Feelings… Out the Sides of Your Car?
The Nissan Leaf concept car uses a “brain-scanning headset” to “read” the driver’s emotions and project related reaction images on the road outside the car. I wish I could make up something that stupid, but, alas, it’s real.
Hard to say what the advantage of such technology could possibly be. As the driver, you already know how you’re feeling, but even if you somehow don’t, you can’t see the images anyway. The visuals are projected onto the ground beside the car. You could see them if you looked, but that would necessitate taking your eyes off the road, which, I mean—people are too easily distracted while driving as it is, so this isn’t helping.
And that’s to say nothing of what other drivers would experience. The projectors appear to be mounted on just inside the rear windows, where the oh $#!t handles usually are. If another driver were alongside your mind-reading automocar on the road, the images would most likely be projected onto their car and in through their windows, which would be pretty darned distracting, I imagine. Potentially temporarily blinding, too.
Someone needs to tell Nissan that just because you have the technology to do something doesn’t mean you should.