Nissan Formula E team harnesses power of bespoke brain training program

Nissan is researching how brain training can make people better drivers

Nissan has revealed the results of its innovative and ground breaking Brain to Performance program. The findings of this initiative, which studies driver brain function and anatomy, shows how brain training protocols can successfully improve the cognitive functions of Nissan Formula E team drivers. 

The data indicates that racing drivers who participated in the Nissan Brain to Performance training experienced enhancements in complex decision making, stress and fatigue resilience and quicker reaction times. These improvements resulted in reduced on track errors and allowed drivers to maximise their pace and consistency.

The study has proven that continual training could enable the Nissan Formula E Team drivers to reach the maximum potential of their brains in terms of clarity, which relates to their ability to perform in high pressure environments as well as speed which relates to how quickly they can process information.

The research

When Nissan Brain to Performance was launched it outlined three key research areas including comparing racing driver brain functions to those of everyday drivers, evaluating the link between electrical brain stimulation and on-track performance and assessing the potential for this technology to enhance general driving skills outside of racing. Immediately, drivers who underwent brain stimulation were found to perform 50 percent faster and learned the circuits 50 percent quicker.

Driver training program

Formula E team drivers underwent baseline neuro scans using an EEG device. This data was utilised to create tailored training programs that utilise a brain-stimulating Sonal device. The device uses certain frequencies to target specific areas of the brain, aimed at helping with jet lag and sleep deprivation, improving reaction times and minimising human error, especially in high-pressure environments.

The findings

After using the Sonal device throughout the racing season, a final scan was conducted to assess its impact on their cognitive functions. Improvements in both brain speed and clarity supported the research hypothesis and it was concluded that further training with this device over an extended period of time could assist drivers in optimising their performances.

Driving towards the future with Brain to Performance

Nissan aims to leverage its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the racetrack and the road in order to enhance the electric vehicle experience for its customers. Together with the University of Texas at Austin, Nissan is exploring how this technology could continue to evolve and be integrated into Nissan dealerships. More specifically, how the brain computer interface-based training could be designed to assist customers in improving their driving skills quicker. The Nissan Formula E team continues to focus on achieving the highest levels of excitement for its drivers by being able to fully exploit Nissan’s EV potential.