The Army Is Testing Brainwave-Reading Technology for Drivers


Image: MOTHERBOARD
Image: MOTHERBOARD
Imagine you’re a soldier driving for hours through a stretch of empty, dusty road. You’re wearing a helmet packed with sensors that record your brain’s electrical signals and sends them out into the ether for processing at a remote facility.

By Jordan Pearson | MOTHERBOARD

Meanwhile, a team of military specialists is monitoring your cognitive abilities in real-time, based on an algorithm’s interpretation of your brainwaves. What they want to know is this: are you too sleepy to be driving down that long, unrelentingly uniform highway?

The US Army’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED), which has the mission of improving „soldier-machine interactions in mission contexts,“ recently sponsored and co-authored research that could lead to the above scenario—if the technology ever gets there.

A paper posted to the arXiv preprint server on Friday described an HRED-sponsored study that looked into using brainwave-reading tech, also known as electroencephalography (EEG), to monitor the drowsiness of drivers and how it affects them doing things like changing lanes. It’s worth noting that other researchers have investigated this scenario before, so the technology shouldn’t be thought of as only having military applications. One could imagine a rather disturbing scenario where long-distance truckers are required to have their brainwaves monitored, for example.

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