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Use Your Brain to Drive – And Nothing Else

If you’re worried that too many motorists drive without thinking, a new development from AutoNOMOS and scientists at Freie University in Berlin may have come up with a solution.  The new vehicle is controlled entirely by the power of thought.  And as drivers learn to make their cars move controlled only by their minds, we take yet another step into the future of interfacing with technology.

The car prototype being tested allow users to interface with a mental control system that allows them to take brainwave pattern recognition and then translate that into a computer which then gives commands to the car.  It isn’t destined to be placed on the roads just yet, and may require several years before we see people driving entirely with their minds.  Still, the concept car has been tested and has been proven to work under the conditions set about in the test.

We first were introduced to brainwave recognition software such as videogames that could be controlled by brainwaves and others household gadgets and toys.  But as the technology improves, more methods and means of training are being introduced that allow individuals trained in certain exercises the ability to perform tasks ranging from moving articulate robotic arms to even running computer programs simply with their minds.  And it was only a matter of time before someone applied the same principles to everyday tasks such as driving.

But if the idea of a car being driven by a person’s mind is unsettling, don’t worry about it just yet.  The car was designed for research purposes, not as a vehicle to be mass produced.  You don’t have to worry about losing your mind on the road hoping other drivers are losing their concentration.  At least not for some time.  The delays in response time coupled with the sometimes unpredictable nature of the technology wouldn’t translate well at this juncture onto busy highways.  But researchers did note that the car performed without any problems other than the occasional delay between thought process and response time for the vehicle.

The cars were also equipped with sensors that took footage of the area all around them and then reported all the information gathered back to the computer.  The four brain patterns recognized by the computer in the second experiment allowed the driver to accelerate, slow down and stop, turn left, and turn right.  By the end of the test the results were astounding to say the least.

The technology would be good for, among other things, patients who are entirely paralyzed to control their vehicles.  Those suffering from paralysis could even drive to work where other brain interfacing machines could allow them to perform their tasks as if they were completely in control of their limbs.  And if a car can be controlled entirely with the power of thought, how long before a human exoskeleton is created that allows a person to walk and move their arms in a robotic suit?