Jaguar adapts NASA tech to monitor brainwaves and avoid accidents

If you're wondering how many projects Jaguar Land Rover's developing in addition to its pothole and cyclist alerts, the answer is "quite a few." In fact, the company has revealed that it's working on several technologies, which can monitor your condition to prevent accidents, collectively called "Sixth Sense." The most intriguing one in the list is "Mind Sense," which was derived from a NASA tech used to enhanced a pilot's concentration skills. Mind Sense aims to read your brain waves (amplified and filtered by software) using sensors embedded in the steering wheel. An on-board computer will then assess whether you're alert enough to commandeer a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. The steering wheel could be programmed to vibrate or the computer could issue a warning sound, in case you're daydreaming or starting to fall asleep.

The automaker is also in the midst of putting together medical-grade sensors to embed in the driver's seat, particularly for the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan. Those sensors will be in charge of making sure you're fit to drive; it could, for instance, dim the lighting or play some music if it senses stress. In future cars with self-driving capability, it could detect whether you're having a seizure or a heart attack and automatically take control of the steering wheel.

Jaguar wants to make sure its fancy infotainment system doesn't distract you, as well, so it's developing an upgraded version that can predict what you want to press before your fingers even reach it. It actually already has a prototype of a mid-air touch screen display that uses cameras to track your hands. In the future, the company plans to add ultrasonic feedback in order to trick your brain into thinking you've already touched the screen. Finally, the British company's working on an accelerator pedal that provides haptic feedback. It could vibrate when you're going over the speed limit, for example, or as a warning that you're going to hit another vehicle.