The technology could, for example, slow the car if it senses the driver is hitting the accelerator for no reason.
Future developments could involve a navigation system and temperature controls that help drivers stay alert, Kawashima told the news agency.
“Ultimately, we hope to develop cars that stimulate brain activity, so that driving itself becomes a form of brain training,” Kawashima told AP.
The automaker and Tohoku University “are done with brainstorming and ready to start making some of the technologies,” Kawashima reportedly said, saying some of the technology could appear in cars in five years.
Toyota spokeswoman Kayo Doi told the Associated Press company engineers are working with Tohoku University but aren’t ready to announce any specific technologies.
Doing simple puzzles and exercises can help stimulate the brain and keep it supple, Kawashima told AP.
Japanese automakers already offer some factory options to assist elderly or disabled vehicle passengers. A swivelling front passenger seat is often available on domestic market models, for example.