Nissan Finds a Way to Broadcast EV Driver’s Emotions

In a move meant to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Leaf EV, Nissan has been at work on a project involving the broadcast of thoughts and emotions of EV drivers.

What Nissan did is produce a movie showing a special Leaf that projects the driver’s experience and thoughts behind the wheel. The drivers themselves were young drivers with relatively little experience, and they were sampling an EV for the first time.

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The movie is titled “THE ELECTRIC CARtoon! IN A DRIVING SCHOOL AT NIGHT”, and the reactions, impressions, and feelings of the drivers were projected around the car (both on the sheetmetal and the road) in animated word form in real-time, as the car moved along at night on a closed course.

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A headset that can read and analyze brainwaves was used to capture thoughts and emotions and translate them in to 33 patterns, which were projected as cartoons with thought and speech bubbles. The Leaf’s exterior was modified slightly and given a look that Nissan claims was inspired by Japanese anime cartoons.

Over 30 men and women took turns behind the wheel. Sometimes the drivers would relax and concentrate, emitting alpha brain waves, while beta brain waves were emitted when the drivers felt tense or excited.

According to Nissan, about half the drivers emitted beta waves when turning the electric vehicles on, while about 90 percent emitted alpha waves during cornering. So drivers were often either in a “comfortable” state or “excited” state during the test.

Nissan released the movie earlier this week.