Navigation Links
Put the brakes on using your brain power

German researchers have used drivers' brain signals, for the first time, to assist in braking, providing much quicker reaction times and a potential solution to the thousands of car accidents that are caused by human error.

Using electroencephalography (EEG) a technique that attaches electrodes to the scalp , the researchers demonstrated that the mind-reading system, accompanied with modern traffic sensors, could detect a driver's intention to break 130 milliseconds faster than a normal brake pedal response.

Driving at 100km/h, this amounts to reducing the braking distance by 3.66 meters - the full length of a compact car or the potential margin between causing and avoiding accidents.

The study, published today, 29 July 2011, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering, identified the parts of the brain that are most active when braking and used a driving simulator to demonstrate the viability of mind-reading assisted driving.

A detailed video of one of the subjects driving the simulator can be seen here.

As well as EEG, the researchers, from the Berlin Institute for Technology, also chose to examine myoelectric (EMG) activity which is caused by muscle tension in the lower leg and can be used to detect leg motion before it actually moves to the brake pedal.

Whilst sat among conventional driving controls, the study's 18 participants were asked to drive a car that was displayed on a screen in front of them whilst a series of electrodes were attached to their scalp to measure brain activity.

They were asked to stay within a 20 metre distance of a computer-controlled lead vehicle along a road that contained sharp curves and dense oncoming traffic, to recreate real driving conditions, whilst maintaining a speed of 100km/h.

At random intervals, emergency braking situations were triggered by the rapid braking of the lead vehicle in front, accompanied by the flashing of its braking lights.

At this point, when the subjects reacted, the data was collected from the EEG and EMG. For comparison, the researchers also recorded information on the time it took to release the gas pedal and press the brake pedal, the deceleration of both vehicles and the distance between the two vehicles.

Using the initial EEG recordings, the researchers were able to determine what parts of the brain are most sensitive in a braking scenario and therefore tweak the detection system accordingly.

A recent development, implemented into this study, are hybrid systems where external lasers and sensors are able to sense when a potential crash is upcoming so that as soon as the break pedal is touched, the vehicles goes into an emergency braking procedure; however these systems still rely on a human physical response, which is where a mind-reading system could benefit.

Lead author of the study Stefan Haufe said, "Averaged over all potential detection thresholds, a system that uses all available sensors detects emergency situations 130 milliseconds earlier than a system that doesn't use EEG and EMG. We can safely say that it is mainly EEG that leads to the early detection.

"We are now considering to test the system online in a real car however if such a technology would ever enter a commercial product, it would certainly be used to complement other assistive technology to avoid the consequences of false alarms that could be both annoying and dangerous."


Contact: Michael Bishop
Institute of Physics

Related biology technology :

1. A new discovery paves the way for using super strong nanostructured metals in cars
2. Sangamo BioSciences Announces Efficient Generation of Transgenic Pigs Using Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) Technology
3. Medical College of Wisconsin and Cellular Dynamics Awarded NHLBI Grant Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
4. Analysis Provides New Insights Into Use of SYMLIN® in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes Using Insulin Pumps
5. BioNeutral Starts Commercial Deployment of Its Ygiene 206 Sterilant and Ogiene Products Within Port Authority Facilities Using T.U.C.S. Cleaning Services
6. ACT Announces First Patients Enrolled in Two Clinical Trials Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Stargardts Disease and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
7. ACT Announces Oregon Health & Science University as Clinical Trial Site for its Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial Using hESC-Derived RPE Cells for Macular Degeneration
8. UCLA scientists discover new way to wake up the immune system using nano vaults to deliver drugs
9. ACT Files European Clinical Trial Application for Phase 1/2 Study Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Macular Degeneration
10. Halozymes Ultrafast Insulin Generates Faster-In and Faster-Out Profile for Type 1 Diabetes Patients Using Insulin Pumps
11. ePharmaSolutions Launches New Application to Streamline Single Sign-On and User Account Provisioning for Sponsors Using Multiple Clinical Trial Technologies
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced ... stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to ... (NOLs) under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code ... PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could be substantially limited ... in Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds ... organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to ... margins but higher volume share for the region ... scale, however, margins in the CRO industry will ... Market ( ), finds that the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper ... unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With ... Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 In the ... issues of concern for various industry verticals such as ... due to the growing demand for secure & simplified ... various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse ... electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® ... its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG ... --> --> Synaptics works closely ... collaboration in the joint development of next generation technologies. ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , ... Nok Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and ... today announced the launch of its latest version of ... platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports ... Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):