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Your Brain Waves Are a Password: How Your Next Car Will Check You're Not a Thief

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the scan-me dept.

Security 169

cartechboy writes "And you thought stealing cars was hard today? You're facing locks, kill switches, LoJacks, OnStar, and more. But there's worse on the way: Engineers at Japan's Tottori University have developed a prototype theft-prevention system that uses brain waves to identify drivers. That's right: The system samples your brain waves, stores them--and actually shuts down the car if the driver's EEG signals don't match what's on file. It also busts drunk and sleepy drivers, because their brain waves differ from those when you're fully awake and totally sober. One non-Tron downside: If you want to drive, you have to wear a scary-looking set of sensors on your skull so the car can constantly reads your brainwaves."

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About face! (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44837697)

"One non-Tron downside: If you want to drive, you have to wear a scary-looking set of sensors on your skull so the car can constantly reads your brainwaves."

In other words - none of this will ever actually see the light of day.

Re:About face! (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44837781)

Don't worry, the SQUID mesh will be cleverly disguised as a stylish iHat.

Re:About face! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838081)

Advice to developers: Contact NSA. They'll be happy to provide unlimited funding for this.

Re:About face! (4, Funny)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year ago | (#44838211)

Advice to developers: Contact NSA. They'll be happy to provide unlimited funding for this.

Null program, there, AC.

Like the NSA hasn't had their own at-a-distance bi-directional systems for years, in fac&2@Y&UIjoi)(*vhMPYyNM^thequickbrownfoxjumpsoverthelazydog@t4%*(5GUJ[Hj9}8.Ruy45YCv

#NO CARRIER

Re:About face! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838455)

"One non-Tron downside: If you want to drive, you have to wear a scary-looking set of sensors on your skull so the car can constantly reads your brainwaves."

In other words - none of this will ever actually see the light of day.

One well-known way to make cars safer, is to make everyone inside wear a helmet.

If the driver's wearing a helmet, then they could put the sensors there.

On the other hand, nobody outside motorsport wants to wear one. Good idea, won't ever come to fruition.

On the other other hand, we used to feel the same way about seat belts...

Re:About face! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838633)

Which may be a good thing. What if you are sick and need to drive yourself to the doctor. Car won't start. "I'm sorry Dave, I cannot let you operate the vehicle at this time." The lawsuits will make the accelerator cable mess look like peanuts.

Link text - submitter/editor please learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838677)

I would comment on the 'scary-looking set of sensors' but when I click on the link whose text includes 'scary-looking set of sensors' I go to a page where there is no fcking picture of those 'scary-looking set of sensors'. I have to go to the other, informative page instead of someone's reputation/karma enhancer page on mashable which is nigh-on worthless. The useless page is also covered in those 'E0' blocks with destinations of '#' and if you think I'm clicking any of those you can fck off. Was there some special character set I was supposed to be using?

Link text is generally supposed to have some kind of relevance to the destination page. So if you have a link that says 'scary-looking set of sensors' then for fcks sake have a fcking picture of some 'scary-looking set of sensors'.

Sorry. Slight off-topic rant there, possibly induced by the sight of all that childlike prodding of tablets by people who don't bother to look where they are going (IRL or online, just as bad on both).

-5, irrelevant crap, venting steam!
p.s. yes I know I didn't have to leave out the 'u' on some of those words but they are still pronounceable ;)

Re:About face! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44839121)

"One non-Tron downside: If you want to drive, you have to wear a scary-looking set of sensors on your skull so the car can constantly reads your brainwaves."

The bigger downside: anything that changes your brainwaves, like alcohol, stress, exhaustion, anger, or even intense conversation, may prevent your car from recognizing you. Now, shutting off your car whenever a little road rage creeps in is not going to endear this technology to anyone.

False negatives? (4, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about a year ago | (#44837699)

What if I'm hugely stressed out because a tsunami or forest fire is coming or my critically injured child needs rushing to hospital or some such? If that changes my brain waves enough to prevent me driving, it would be unfortunate.

(To be fair, TFA says they're looking initially to use it on buses and armoured cars. I wonder if "masked man is pointing gun at my head and ordering me to drive" sufficiently alters the brain waves.)

Re:False negatives? (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#44837729)

What if I'm schizophrenic?

What if I'm schizophrenic?

Re:False negatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837845)

I know I am.

Me too.

Re:False negatives? (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44837847)

Then you'd probably know that schizophrenia is not what they used to call Multiple Personality Disorder.

Re:False negatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838037)

Awww you're no fun.

Re:False negatives? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44837883)

Don't worry, the tinfoil in your hat will short it out.

And yours, too.

Re:False negatives? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44838361)

What if I'm schizophrenic?

Just let the person sitting next to you who is not there drive.

Good idea (2)

Scoldog (875927) | about a year ago | (#44837701)

I'd be happy if the technology could be used just to detect brain waves from the driver and prevents the car starting if it doesn't detect anything.

Some of the maniac's I see driving around here are beyond comprehension.

Re:Good idea (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44837851)

Actually, that's a really good point. Having a car that could detect when a person had fallen asleep and automatically hit the brakes could save lives.

Unfortunately, I think we'll have self driving cars before we can have a car that can detect if it's being driven by an idiot.

Re:Good idea (2)

Scoldog (875927) | about a year ago | (#44837963)

Either way, the future of driving will be safer and better. Hopefully before too long we will see the widespread adoption of either driverless cars or, to a lesser degree, this technology coupled with stuff like automatic braking and obstacle avoidance and other technology already on the market.

Personally, I want the driverless cars. A bad driver is a bad driver no matter how much automation they have at their disposal. In fact, I would say that more automation makes a driver worse if the driver is still the one at the top of the chain controlling it. People who have literally no idea how big their car is, because they rely on automatic cruise control with distance sensors, and automatic parking assist.

Best take drivers out of the picture all together.

Re:Good idea (1)

Garridan (597129) | about a year ago | (#44838159)

Yeah, so let's look at that robot car plan. They work great where lanes are well marked and road conditions are nice. Where I live, the main highway has been under construction for the last 3 years, and the entrances, exits, and lanes aren't in the same place two weeks in a row. And it rains a lot. And it snows in the winter. How's your robot car gonna handle that? What I hear a lot of people say is "well, humans can take over in adverse conditions." Really? Humans that learned to drive once, but almost never do, who will be watching porn or playing some inane addictive game when the car says "excuse me gentle madam, but there seems to be a patch of ice 20 meters ahead, can you take the wheel for a moment?" Yeah, that'll go great. Total n00b of a driver is suddenly panicked behind the wheel.

Re:Good idea (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44838373)

You don't think that can be solved? There may need to be a revision to the MUTCD to accommodate that, but it's not that tough. Just put traffic cones out to indicate the lanes as is. And I'm sure there's a way of updating the maps about where the exits have moved.

In most cases though, the only reason for a human to take over is if the AI has conked out and the car is still moving. Chances are good that these cars will be programmed in such a way that unless they're deactivated, they'll just come to a stop and the rest of traffic will route around the disabled vehicle.

Also, if you live some place where main street has been under construction like that for years, chances are that you're in a small town. The simple fix to that would be for the city engineers to plan things with driverless cars in mind.

Re:Good idea (1)

Garridan (597129) | about a year ago | (#44838465)

Simply put, no. I do not believe that robots will be as adaptable as humans in my lifetime. I find it an acceptable risk to be killed by a human in traffic. I find it less acceptable to be killed by a robot. If a human's error kills, there's a process of grief, penance, and liability. If a robot kills... who is responsible? It's a bug in some code somewhere. Your statement about me being in a small town is odd. I said "entrances and exits" of a highway -- small towns generally don't have those... my little town of 5 million has quite a few. Sometimes, major highway revisions just take forever. I used to drive quite a lot, and I recall Boise and Salt Lake City both having massive highway revisions for a number of years, too.

Re:Good idea (1)

celle (906675) | about a year ago | (#44838537)

"my little town of 5 million"

      That's not a town, that's a country. My small town of about 100 is more like it. The main streets are somewhat paved and the rest are gravel. I doubt self-driving cars would have much of a chance here with the lack of clear marking on the road to reference.

Re:Good idea (2)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year ago | (#44838383)

The robot is not limited to using the visible spectrum, so rain and snow will be less of a visibility problem for it than it is for humans.
Once the robot have been taught how to handle itself in snow, it will always remember it, in contrast to humans that takes some time remembering how to compensate for skidding if they are not used to it.
Humans generally suck at updating their model of the world if they don't believe it is necessary. Robots will thus be better equipped to handle changes in entrances, exits and lanes.

All in all, it seems you have listed another set of conditions where people should in no way be responsible for handling a car if a robot is available to do it in stead.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838181)

I yearn for a day when the government can drive me where I need to go, and will provide me with a hover chair so that I might not fall down at any time, and feeds me only the exact mix of nutritional food and supplements that will keep me nutritionally complete as recommended by the Food Authority. Oh what a future is yet to come!

Edit: especially poignant, my captcha for this was "habeas"

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838719)

Actually, that's a really good point. Having a car that could detect when a person had fallen asleep and automatically hit the brakes could save lives.

While automatic sleep detection surely would eb a good things, hitting the brakes will most likely be the wrong thing to do. When you fall into microsleep on the highway and the car hits the breaks in response, what will most probably happen is that the car behind you rear-ends you.

What about people with migraines? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837705)

"Hi Boss, I can't come to work today. I have a migraine. Yeah, my car refuses to start until I'm well again. I might be in this afternoon."

Re:What about people with migraines? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44838121)

Wonder how well it would work on those of us with cluster headaches/migraines and so on. Those rare days when it's only a headache would make thing implode.

How your car thief will will steal your cars. (3, Informative)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#44837713)

By bypassing this system entirely.

IANACT.

Re:How your car thief will will steal your cars. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44837785)

Actually... you've heard of criminals cutting off a hand (Red Dwarf) or gouging out an eye (Avengers) to thwart biometric security. Now they'll be cutting people's heads off.

Re:How your car thief will will steal your cars. (5, Funny)

k8to (9046) | about a year ago | (#44837971)

I believe brain patterns typically alter when the head is separated from the body.

Your milage may vary.

Re:How your car thief will will steal your cars. (5, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | about a year ago | (#44838283)

I believe brain patterns typically alter when the head is separated from the body.

"Typically" implies you think that's true for more than than 50% of the population.
I dunno, either you're an optimist or I'm a cynic.

-

Re:How your car thief will will steal your cars. (1)

Scoldog (875927) | about a year ago | (#44837983)

Maybe the onboard GPS system can direct the driver to the local police station when it detects the brain waves from a decapitated head**. Pretty pointless directing them to the local hospital.

* I don't have a clue how long the brain can generate brain waves after decapitation. If the system can read them, you'd think it would translate into nothing but "FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK".

Re:How your car thief will will steal your cars. (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#44838847)

* I don't have a clue how long the brain can generate brain waves after decapitation. If the system can read them, you'd think it would translate into nothing but "FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK".

Only if the electrodes can reach the back seat.......like on prom night.

Also, avoid having a stroke. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837717)

especially if you are out in the woods, you would have to walk home. (with your thirteen year old son by your side since you can not imprint a car with an illegal driver)

Personally I would prefer my car being stolen while I'm not using it than me not being able to use when I really need it. What I do to reduce the risk of theft is buy a cheap car. (well no car is cheap... less expensive)

Re:Also, avoid having a stroke. (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44837873)

Personally I would prefer my car being stolen while I'm not using it than me not being able to use when I really need it.

Winner, winner! That's exactly why I have insurance on my vehicles. I'm paying someone else to accept the risk of theft. And they're gambling that I won't be a victim.

Sure, I don't want my nice new car stolen, nor even my old truck. I take sensible precautions, such as protecting my keys and always locking the vehicles when I leave them, no matter what. But if despite my best efforts, they are stolen, hey, there's some measure of reimbursement. Will I be happy? No. Will the reimbursement get me the same vehicle? Probably not. But will I be without a vehicle for too long? No, the insurance company is well-paid to get me back into a similar vehicle.

Might the insurance company decide to offer me a discount should I wear this stupid hat? They offer discounts for LoJack systems and other anti-theft measures, so they might offer one for a brain-scanning helmet. Will they someday require them? Probably not unless people really like and accept them.

Interesting (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44837719)

Reminds me of the studies that show how some people's presence can make machines work properly, while other's makes them malfunction.

I was a mechanic for years and got tired of joking how I could fix a car just by showing up. In contrast, my X would make things go haywire. Whenever she went out shopping, her friends would always get in another checkout line or make her last since they knew something would go wrong with the register once she got near it.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837763)

I actually have one of those auras and it works both ways. Depending on how I am focusing my thoughts. If I'm really feeling psychotic, or meditating on dark things, I can make chips go so haywire they light everything on the dash. If I then focus on something else neutral or happy, I can then restart the system and turn them off. Happens with reliable degree of accuracy on many different kinds of sensitive electronics. It also runs in the male side ( but not the female side of my family ). Theres a running gag about us being Warlocks.

A powerful electromagnetic aura is definitely a possibility in my experience.

I shit you not.

-the warlock

Re:Interesting (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44838019)

I call bs on this. However, I'd love to be proven wrong.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838061)

It took years of training to have enough control over it to observe. So its not easy to observe in the wild populations of unwashed plebes. Also I do not want to sacrifice my psuedoanonymity and am to lazy to create and upload a video. Besides the electronic recording device would fry itself during the demonstrations.

-the warlock

Re:Interesting (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44838201)

Are you also one of those people still waiting for the SNES cdrom to come out?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838331)

I grew up in the day and age of the power glove.

-the warlock

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#44838389)

Of course it would. How very convenient.

So why aren't you out there getting rich and famous with this ability of yours? You could make $1,000,000 [skepdic.com] if you demonstrated your powers to this guy [randi.org] .

My guess is you won't make $1,000,000.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838073)

What are you waiting for? go collect your million dollar [randi.org] !

Re:Interesting (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#44838409)

Will write a book about better cellular reception through aura mastery $$.

-the warlock

Re:Interesting (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#44838415)

LOL DAMN! my plan is foiled !!!

Re:Interesting (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44837859)

Reminds me of the studies that show how some people's presence can make machines work properly, while other's makes them malfunction.

This might stop joy riding, but it won't stop professional car thieves. It goes a little like this... carefully remove the head lamp cover, remove the lamp, stuff a bunch of tin foil in it. Then kick the bumper. *HONKKkk--zrrrrcccch....* Now pull up the short truck, hook the wench up, drag it up the ramp and into the back, hop out, close the door, drive off. With slight modification to the inside, it forms a perfect Faraday cage for the car's electronics... then drive it to the chop shop... also in a nice big metal cage, chop everything up... remove any tracking devices such as OnStar that weren't disabled when you shorted the battery. Total time from capture to parted out: 2 hours. Which is right about the time you finish filling out that nice long form at the police station about how you had your fancy car parked out front for "only a minute" while you ran inside.

Guys... I don't know how much clearer I can make this; Criminals already just don't fuck with car alarms or ignition interlocks... they just load the car up wholesale into another vehicle. It's only the gang-bangers and joy riders that mess with that.

This technology will slow down a car thief for exactly... zero seconds. They don't even need to get in the vehicle to steal it. It doesn't happen like in Grand Theft Auto or like those crime dramas that seem to be clogging prime time TV. In the real world, a team of six professional car thieves can move a dozen cars in a night.

Oh, I know what you're thinking -- you'll just canvas the local junk yards or ebay and find someone selling your car parts. Yeah, no. Your parts are loaded into large crates, and shipped overseas. Your car is sitting in a dozen different shipping containers a few days after it's stolen. No serial numbers on the parts; Those are just discarded. Don't worry though, when they come back into the country 4--6 months from now, it'll be from a salvage title with new VINs and engine serial numbers. Next time you see a hurricane or a major flood somewhere in the world, think of all those delicious salvage titles being sold off for a few bucks each. Their only value is a new set of serial numbers for a stolen car that was nowhere near the disaster area.

Money laundering is hard, but laundering car parts? Dead simple. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. But if wearing a silly cap with electrodes in it is what it takes for you to feel like car theft is something that only happens to the other guy because you've got the latest car alarm or interlock system, well, okay.

But the thieves don't care. Chances are, your car will be in a hundred pieces before someone asks... "Hey... what do we do with this stupid-looking cap?" ... and it winds up in a dumpster somewhere a few hours later, having performed its only real function: Making you feel better.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837965)

Wow you may want to try a few different new threads (not about black magic), but you made a solid post girlyman. Way to state the obvious in no less then 100 words.

Re:Interesting (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44837871)

I think it's mostly things that aren't properly shielded and are particularly sensitive to magnetic interference.

I know I'll get crap about it, but for some reason my nervous system is capable of polarizing metallic wires. Causing them to cross and uncross in response to my thoughts. It's not particularly useful as a trick. Unfortunately, I still can't do telekinesis. Which would be cool.

Re:Interesting (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44837985)

In contrast, my X would make things go haywire. Whenever she went out shopping, her friends would always get in another checkout line or make her last since they knew something would go wrong with the register once she got near it.

And for the record, this is a classic example of observational selection bias. Get a new car? Suddenly you notice that same car everywhere. Everyone bought the same car you did! Except they totally didn't, it just seems that way. How about one a little closer to home -- ever had that friend that claimed they could turn off street lights? Or that the traffic signals "have it in for you"? More observational selection bias. Humans have this tendancy to see patterns where none exist -- like seeing faces in clouds. There's a good evolutionary reason for this too -- see something move in the bushes and ZOMFG IT'S A BEAR! ... 99 times out of 100, it isn't a bear... but over a few hundred generations... guess what: Those few times it really was a bear has an impact on a person's ability to reproduce. Funny, isn't it; Seeing things that (usually) aren't there has an evolutionary benefit.

So there you have it. SSSSSSCCCCCIENCE! (cape swish) (flies away)

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838175)

You don't have enough data points to declare observational bias on our black magic. Now keep your informed scientific opinion out of our heretical discussions.

-the warlock

Re:Interesting (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44838051)

My wife can't wear wristwatches. Mechanical or electronic, they stop working after a very short time. The watch repair guy finally gave up, suggested she just ask me what time it was.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838895)

I cannot wear electrical powered watches. They also just stop.
I also statically charge very easily, my friends get shocked if they brush past me.
It is quite annoying sometimes as I frequently discharge on door handles.

I wear a self-winding (automatic) mechanical watch with no problems.
I try to wear natural fibre clothing as well, this reduces the intensity.
I need a earthing cable.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838307)

Anything that involves an aura is bullshit. Science rocks, new agism sucks.

Re:Interesting (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#44838905)

Anything that involves an aura is bullshit.

Unless it's a migraine then its just shit.

Re:Interesting (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44839007)

The new age explanation is bullshit but let's not confuse their observational claims with their conclusions.

For example, I saw a bright "aura" around my headmaster when I was in grade 3. That was close to 50yrs ago but I still remember it clearly because it was the first and by far the brightest aura I've seen, hot Aussie summers day, assembly yard was giant concrete oven, the sun was high in the sky with heavy shade forming a backdrop to the podium, I wasn't the only kid to see it and I believed I had seen an aura well into my twenties, I went to university in my late-20's, now I'm convinced it was a "rainbow" effect caused by the evaporating sweat of an "Englishman in the midday sun", combined with just the right viewing angle and backdrop.

Other examples from my childhood, Meteorologists claimed "ball lightning does not exist" until it was observed melting a hole through a window of the NY meteorological centre. Black holes were a "mathematical curiosity". It was a "physical impossibility" for exo-planets to be observed with a telescope. At the end of the day, "Science rocks" because it has something no other philosophy offers, the balls to admit when it's wrong [tufts.edu] .

As for TFA. Most of the comments here simply don't "get it". Japan is renowned for wacky inventions, it's more of an art form than anything else, the (cheap) inventions are intended to be impractical, a kind of "fart cushion" for the Japanese sense of humour. The more impractical the invention, the more the fans it will love it. This one is a fine example, it involves cars, computers, exposed wires, and a silly hat with a jelly coating on the inside. Although it probably won't make as much money as the "baby mop" which offers more value to a western sense of humour.

no, no, no no. (3, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about a year ago | (#44837721)

This is a really bad idea. If I need to rush someone to the hospital it doesn't matter if I have two beers in me or if I just woke up. And I don't want my car telling me I'm too sleepy to drive -- and there would be no real difference between "just waking up" and "sleepy" anyway. Let's treating me like I'm all grown up and can make my own damn decisions about when to drive okay?

Re:no, no, no no. (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year ago | (#44837897)

Like that matters - the nanny state needs to keep you safe from yourself.

Now just wrap yourself up in nerf foam, and lay back and watch reality TV.

There's a good prole.

Re:no, no, no no. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44838057)

> Now just wrap yourself up in nerf foam, and lay back and watch reality TV.

...as you bleed out, because you aren't allowed to drive to urgent care...

Re:no, no, no no. (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44838007)

Better call an ambulance and get the help to you... safer and quicker.

Re:no, no, no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838377)

Instead you want to hit that small girl playing in the parking lot, because you were too drunk, sleepy and panicky to see her?
People do their life's worst mistakes in a panicky state.
Having nightmares may indeed be a way for the brain to cope in such situations, and learning not to let panic override sound decisions.

Re:no, no, no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838617)

That's right. No more "NYPD, I need to borough your fucking car!" :(

Re:no, no, no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44839035)

This is a really bad idea. If I need to rush someone to the hospital it doesn't matter if I have two beers in me or if I just woke up. And I don't want my car telling me I'm too sleepy to drive -- and there would be no real difference between "just waking up" and "sleepy" anyway.

Let's treating me like I'm all grown up and can make my own damn decisions about when to drive okay?

Currently we do let you make your own decisions, human. And you still end up killing thousands of people every fucking year with your drinking and driving.

Please understand this technology isn't meant for those with an IQ above room temperature. It's meant for that special portion of society who can't seem to use sound judgement and common sense when behind the wheel. Unfortunately with alcohol deeply rooted into society, this technology could be utilized to save lives. I could see this being used as mandatory tech on DUI offenders to avoid repeat offenses.

FYI, not to target you drunk or sleepy drivers, but realize this technology sounds the death knell for getting oral while driving. I know no man who's mind doesn't turn to mush for at least a few minutes after finishing one of those. Pulled over on the highway for sure with that EEG reading. Now watch that be the new metric for bragging rights between women. "My boyfriend couldn't start his car for 18 minutes after I got done with him!"

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44837725)

Let's see. My wife goes into labor at 4:00 AM*, and sleepy and excited I get into the car to drive her to the hospital... only to have the car refuse to start, as my brain waves don't match its stored template. Oh, yeah, that will go over well.

* That was, in fact, when my wife went into labor.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44838067)

Let's see. My wife goes into labor at 4:00 AM*, and sleepy and excited I get into the car to drive her to the hospital... only to have the car refuse to start, as my brain waves don't match its stored template. Oh, yeah, that will go over well.

* That was, in fact, when my wife went into labor.

Yep, same here. I think they do it on purpose.

Nope! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837733)

Won't be buying that. No fucking way.

Super computer in your car? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44837743)

You lift the car into a EM shielded truck and drive to a EM shielded site.
Enter the stolen car and get your computer working on the theft-prevention system over a few hours, days...
Your car turns up tracker free in another part of the world with a compatible new entry system.
Trusted bodyguard/driver are now the new theft-prevention system.

Teenagers? (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#44837753)

Is there enough change in the brain waves of teenagers to detect their growth as being a different person? What about certain disorders that might not effect one's ability to drive or just aging in general? Also, why would it matter if you are drunk of sleepy if your car drives itself?

Re:Teenagers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838197)

What about meditation newbies!? I've been practicing meditation for the past month, thus purposely changing my brain waves for the better!

Bah. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44837769)

Just a trick by the NSA to collect mind-reading data.

Re:Bah. (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year ago | (#44837929)

This way they know who to probe. This will save us billions of dollars and save millions of sphincters from being unnecessarily stretched.

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838355)

Jesus Christ, they mental probe you through your brown eye, instead of third eye O_O

Busts sleepy drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837797)

So if I get sleepy while driving will my car automatically shut off in the middle of the freeway?

Do I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837813)

wear it over or under my tin foil hat?

Re:Do I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44837911)

Up your bum.

I'm going to need 7 extra keys... (1)

hedgemage (934558) | about a year ago | (#44837841)

One for each of my multiple personalities.

Stealing brainwaves (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#44837893)

So now instead of cutting off your finger so they can open the fingerprint locks, which involves physical assault, the thieves can just slap an EEG on your head for a few minutes, splice into the wiring and play the recording back after bypassing the sensors. Or they could take advantage of the ability to record more than one person's brainwaves to make themselves an authorized driver (cars will have to allow this because more than one person drives a given car). Or they could use the bypass built-in for letting someone borrow your car (which again will have to be allowed because people do let friends borrow their car for a quick trip to the store) to "borrow" your car. This won't slow the thieves down much, all it'll do is give car owners a false sense of security and make them more careless.

Myself, I favor a "make the car undrivable" approach, eg. if the ignition is triggered without a door having been opened with the key or the keyless remote, the ECU disables the fuel pump. The car's still vulnerable to thieves who just load it onto a flatbed tow truck, but nothing can really stop that.

sure it will (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44837935)

so I can't lend my keys to a friend. and when I have had too much to drink, even if I'm still within legal limits, I can't let my sober friend drive. and I can't drive my own car whenever my brain waves -- which ain't under my control -- are unusual. So if I'm the wrong kind of sick, or if I'm scared, or if I'm in love. If I'm nervous, or if I just lost my job or if my wife is in labour, or if I just learned that she's pregnant, or if my child is injured, or just about any emergency situation that I internalize emotionally.

And in the end, like all electronic locking measures, they don't actually control the engine, they only control the power button, or the key. Which means that it can be bypassed.

Re:sure it will (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44838023)

let the friend drive and wear the hat! Or better, dont buy a bus or armored transport truck for your personal vehicle.

not sleepy / fully awake? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44837953)

It also busts drunk and sleepy drivers, because their brain waves differ from those when you're fully awake and totally sober.

And that equates to how many cups of coffee in the morning?

At last... (1)

David Govett (2825317) | about a year ago | (#44837955)

Brain waves. That will prevent someone from loading your car on a truck and driving it away.

So what you do... (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44838071)

...is get drunk, and *then* have it create a template of your brain waves. Then you have to be drunk or the car won't start.

Designed For Multiple Drivers? (2)

Dialecticus (1433989) | about a year ago | (#44838649)

Many cars are driven by more than one driver, such as a husband and wife, and possibly one or more teenage kids. This means that such a car would need to have the ability to store multiple profiles, so just record one profile while sleepy, one profile while drunk, one profile while fully awake and sober. And perhaps a fourth profile while in a state of blind panic in case you ever have to drive to the emergency room, and maybe one where you've just had too much coffee, etc.

The real difficulty is going to be when a song you like comes on the radio and the car stalls in the middle of the freeway because your brainwaves have just changed. Recording a profile for each song you like would no doubt tax its memory.

Re:Designed For Multiple Drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838747)

Oh, I'd like to witness the procedure of recording these profiles for 'blind panic'. Sounds like popcorn-festival for me! *scnr*

Re:Designed For Multiple Drivers? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44838799)

well the point would be that while sober you wouldn't record a drunk state. of course it would have a master password for recording a new allowed pattern. and guys with dui's would have to not have the master password.. but for those just alco lock might be better.

you see, there's a saying that's not entirely false that goes like this "nobody would drunk drive if they decided it while sober".

MiG-31 (2)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#44838133)

Think in Russian...

Re:MiG-31 (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44838209)

firefox ftw..

And what about women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838157)

Why nobody think about women?

Rick Perry (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44838171)

Error: no signal found

EKG (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year ago | (#44838185)

Supposedly an EKG can also be used as a unique biometric identifier. There’s a device [getnymi.com] under development with a release target of “early 2014” that uses it for authentication, and it’s just a slim bracelet rather than a crown of wires.

I have no connection with the company and absolutely no idea if the thing can or will work as advertised, I just happened to be reading about it right as this was posted.

They want us as borg drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838221)

The Riddler: Soon my little "Box" will be on countless TVs around the world. Feeding me, credit card numbers, bank codes, sexual fantasies, and little white lies. Into my head they'll go. Victory is inevitable.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112462/ [imdb.com]

Rape heaven! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838257)

Woman is trailed and makes it to her car, just to find that the door tells her "I'm sorry, Devi, but I'm afraid I can't do that." because she is totally in a panic.

Car-DRM (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year ago | (#44838291)

because borrowing your car to other people should be illegal (get your own car, you hippie!)

Re:Car-DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838685)

Lending your car.
They borrow it, you lend it.
Borrowing is the receiving act. Lending is the giving act.

Immature... (1)

ExXter (1361251) | about a year ago | (#44838309)

They just think about another idea how to lock and unlock something but they don't think further how this new method can be broken. At the start of this year I saw an anime called 'Psycho', a society in which everyones brainwaves are observed to supress violent behaviour...to put it simple. The solution with which terrorists came up was a helmet that copied the brainwaves of the calmest and most balanced person of the area. That allowed it to run havoc but not get caught by the nearly fully automated police. Now I question, if there is technology that can lock and unlock a car by brainwave detection, how long will it take to create a device with this technology that just copies the brainwaves of the owner of the car and once he/she is gone you come along and drive away with it... Happy Research

unless.. (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44838501)

... this apparatus is part and parcel of the car and that dismantling actually makes the car useless, people will find ways to get around it.

Road rage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44838509)

Would your brain wave change if you are prone to road rage?

Can't change my password (1)

greggman (102198) | about a year ago | (#44838549)

As pointed out by others [boingboing.net] the problem with biometric passwords is once it's compromised you're S.O.L. If someone manages to record your brainwave pattern how do you go about getting a new one? If someone gets a copy of your fingerprints how do you get new fingerprints? Etc....

Re:Can't change my password (1)

gnupun (752725) | about a year ago | (#44839085)

A single, unchangeable password system where the password is not hidden is, in essence, weak. There are also privacy concerns: won't the car companies (and NSA and other secret agencies) now have a database of brainwaves of a large segment of the population? This database could be put to other (illegal) uses than just unlocking a car in the future.
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