Driving gloves are so yesterday… The car manufacturer Honda knows that well and looks into the future of driving fashion. The Japanese company aims to make a “driving hat” that allows motorists to control tasks by thought alone.
But first of all the design has to be cool, so Honda is actually collaborating with top fashion designers to help create a good looking driving hat that can read brainwaves for simple driving commands such as controlling the wipers and indicators, and using a navigation system or changing songs on an iPod. The device has to be small enough to fit within the lining of an ordinary hat.
Honda is now developing “soft pads” that can read brain patterns through hair. The driver would have to “self-calibrate” the sensors to synchronise with their brain, so they could then recognise and ignore “extraneous data” such as random thoughts.
Yasuhisa Arai, of the Honda Research Institute in Tokyo, told a Japanese motoring magazine that eventually their invention could even replace the steering wheel, perhaps within 10 years.
“We are looking into the future, but we think this is the ultimate in making machines move safely,” he said.
Honda says that the sensors in its prototype headgear are small enough to fit into the lining of an ordinary hat, and they are looking at Hollywood stars and fashion designers for inspiration. The Japanese company wants to offer it to ordinary drivers, but first it has to look good.
A motoring industry consultant said, “The driving hat has to be both smart and reliable, with different styles for men and women.”
That’s fine, Neurogadget is always happy to post news like that. But one thing is still inexplicable: why doesn’t Honda talk about accident prevention features such as monitoring the driver’s mental state, and adjusting the car’s electronic stability systems to match. Like Ferrari’s engineers who are planning a range of in-car biometric and psychometric sensors to assess respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, blink rate, temperature, perspiration and even brain activity.