This Nissan Leaf reads your thoughts, projects them on the road

Do you remember what went through your head when you first started driving? You probably wouldn't want those thoughts visible to everyone, which means this specially modified Nissan Leaf would have been a nightmare. The EV projects its driver's emotions onto the road for every bystander to see.

For the video above, Nissan hooked the tech up to 30 young Japanese drivers who were also EV first-timers. The subjects wear a headband that monitors their brainwaves,monitoring for alpha waves – produced by the brain when a person is relaxed or concentrating – and beta waves, which show when someone is tense or excited. By measuring these levels, the system can project one of 33 messages reflecting the person's mood, and the words show up on each side of the car in bold, manga-style graphics. You know it's scientific because there are guys in white lab coats.

We're not sure how or if this system helps these drivers feel more comfortable in an EV, but the implementation looks fantastic. The combination of the graphics plastering the car and the way similar images appear on the road is a really fun idea, if just a bit distracting. On second thought, maybe it's not the best idea for a new driver.

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'Nissan LEAF' special version visualizes EV driving excitement
~Release of project movie set in a driving school~

YOKOHAMA, Japan (April 13, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the 100% electric vehicle (EV) "Nissan LEAF," has produced a movie featuring a special EV version that projects the driver's experience and thoughts behind the wheel. The film, entitled "THE ELECTRIC CARtoon! IN A DRIVING SCHOOL AT NIGHT", ( features young drivers experiencing EVs for the first time. Their reactions, thoughts and feelings are reflected in real-time word animations projected around the on-road Nissan LEAF.

<Car design> <"See" the driver's thoughts and sensations>

■Project background
This project offers a visualization of drivers' experiences when handling the EV at night on a school course. The fun experienced by the driver is conveyed in eye-catching visuals, so that even those outside the car can share the excitement.

■LEAF visualizes the EV driving experience
The car used in the "THE ELECTRIC CARtoon!" project features a driver's headset that reads and analyzes brainwaves produced while driving. There are 33 visual patterns used to express the drivers' various states of mind. Driver brainwaves and projected animations are automatically matched, and visualizations are in a cartoon-style with speech and thought bubbles. The car exterior also has a unique design, taking inspiration from Japanese animation, which is now popular across the world.

■Read the brainwaves of 30 men and women driving the "Nissan LEAF"
In this project, the brainwaves of 30 men and women were measured while driving the Nissan LEAF in various situations. In brain science, alpha waves are emitted when the brain relaxes and concentrates, while beta waves are produced when the brain feels tension or is excited.

In this project, alpha waves were defined as brainwaves emitted when the brain is in a conformable state, and beta waves as those when the brain is in an excited state. As a result, about half of those taking part emitted beta waves when starting the EVs and more than 90 percent emitted a significant quantity of alpha waves when turning road corners. In this experiment, we confirmed that those taking part were in "a comfortable state" or "an excited state" while they were driving EVs.

【"THE ELECTRIC CARtoon! IN A DRIVING SCHOOL AT NIGHT" project movie outline】
■Release date: April 13, 2016 (Wed) 14:00
■Description: Young people at a driving school at night use "Nissan LEAF" cars that project their driving feeling outside the EVs. The movie portrays young drivers excited by their first EV experience.


① Read the real-time brainwave animations of EV drivers sporting headsets.
② Use special brain wave analysis applications installed in the cars to determine the levels of excitement and relaxation.
③ Conduct a relative calibration (data adjustment).
④ Select 33 patterns of language from real time brainwave data.
⑤ Use a projector installed in the backseat of the cars to project language animations on the road surface.

【Brainwave measurement project outline】
■No. of participants: Approx. 30 individuals
■Date: March 2016
■Measurement method: Drivers wearing a brainwave-reading headset use the NISSAN LEAF.
■Measurement locations: Yokohama Minato Mirai area and Metropolitan Expressway
≪Open road≫
Start & acceleration, cornering, acceleration on slope, stopping at a red light, etc. at speeds of 0-40 kilometers per hour.
Driving & acceleration, merging at a junction, acceleration after stopping at a toll booth, etc. at 60 kilometers per hour or higher.

■Measurement partner: Neuro Space Inc. (

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Nissan LEAF Information

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