Innovation: Mind Reading for Faster Reactions in Emergency Situations

Innovation: Mind Reading for Faster Reactions in Emergency Situations
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Faster with slow brain waves. In a new study, researchers identify the intention of braking drivers into brain waves

Elapse between the detection of an emergency situation while driving up to the actual braking precious seconds and milliseconds, which may be decisive for whether there is an accident. As this critical time can be shortened, University scientists have demonstrated in an experiment. For the brain waves of volunteers have been recorded in a driving simulator and the driver’s braking intention by reading sensors in the head before he steps on the brake pedal. The result: faster braking can enable and auto accidents can be prevented.

The University researchers have brought about dangerous situations in a driving simulator, requiring an emergency stop, and analyzed the flow patterns occurring brain using electroencephalography (EEG), ie, with electrodes attached to the head. Furthermore, the muscle activity of the right tibia by electromyography (EMG) were recorded as well as movements of the accelerator and brake pedals. It turned out that the intention of the driver braking about 130 milliseconds can be predicted earlier, when typical EMG and (especially) EEG patterns are considered in addition to the information from the pedal sensors. Thus shortens the braking distance at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour to 3.66 meters – the equivalent of a car length.

Scientists at the Technical University of Berlin created the Study “EEG potentials predict upcoming emergency braking during simulated driving”, in collaboration with the Charité University of Medicine and the Fraunhofer Institute FIRST and published the research results in the publication “Journal of Neural Engineering.”

Main author Stefan Haufe from the Department of Machine Learning at the Technical University of Berlin and his colleagues have with this research very early on in the chain reaction of a potential accident situation. Previous systems for driving assistance, for example, a laser beam to monitor the distance from the moving car ahead and initiate an emergency braking when the driver taps the brake pedal.  The “mind reading”, or the EEG-based detection of the braking intention prejudge the advance and could provide faster brake assist.



“The next step must be tested to see if our online system also works in a real car. To be commercially viable, the technology would also, however, are much more practical, “says Stefan Haufe. Currently, the EEG electrode gel bulged namely: it is expensive to use and leave residues in your hair, says the scientist. But the solutions are in sight: “There has been some ‘dry’ electrodes. At the same time advancing the miniaturization of the electrodes and the development of wireless systems. Our system could be introduced in a few years as a supplement to existing driving assistance systems. ”

Source: – Translated via Google Translate.

Photo Credit: Don’t Blink, Don’t Miss A Thing (Photoshopped For Art) By My Silent Side – Brian K / FlickR