Professor Ryuta Kawashima is the master of brain training. Having trained the brains of millions of gamers, he has now taken the next logical step - training the brains of Toyotas. Toyota and Kawashima are currently together on various technologies to help older drivers drive safely. Technologies such as intelligent systems that monitor a driver's behavior in order to curb dangerous behavior, such as sudden increases or decreases in speed, falling asleep at the wheel, or getting in the car in the first place.
"We envision future cars will be able to monitor brain and emotional activity to back up elderly drivers," said Kawashima, a Tohoku University scientist who worked on Nintendo Co.'s best-selling "Brain Age" games _ and whose smiling image is the guide in the series.
While I am all for promoting driving safety, I just don't know about helping the elderly drive longer. I respect the elderly. I have some of the elderly in my family. I just think there is a certain point where you have to resign yourself that you can no longer safely operate a vehicle. I know Kawashima's heart is in the right place, but age happens.
Kawashima hopes to extend the technology towards all ages of drivers in the future.
"Ultimately, we hope to develop cars that stimulate brain activity, so that driving itself becomes a form of brain training," Kawashima said.
Brain training and driving? He's obviously never driven through downtown Atlanta on a Friday night. There ain't no brains to train here, professor.
Toyota and brain-game professor to develop cars for the elderly [The Sydney Morning Herald via Gizmodo AU]