Seemingly taking a page out of a sci-fi movie from the future, a team of German researchers have developed a car that can be controlled with thoughts - and thoughts alone.
The advancement of autonomous vehicles in the last few years alone has been quite staggering, but most news has been centered around the development of vehicles that are controlled by computers running on their own calculations.
This time, however, the concept is quite different: control a car's basic functions ranging from throttle, to braking, to steering, and do all of those things not with the computer making decisions, but with mind control. This concept may seem like a concept stolen right out of Star Wars with the use of "the force," but according to IEEE, the concept is very real and comes from researchers at a German university.
The project is known as BrainDriver, and is based on iPhone and iPad app technology, which stemmed from testing on said devices using eye-tracking as a possible user interface to control vehicles. The researchers starts by recording brain activity with a "neuroheadset," which is a device originally intended for gaming. The device works by going through rounds of training to record brain function and reactions to determine patterns, and then the BrainDriver software learns how to respond to certain thought patterns.
The system is capable of detecting turn left or right, acceleration and braking, all of which is then directed to a specially prepared Volkswagen Passat. Obviously, at this time the testing and development is far from being "road ready," but it shows promise for many possible applications regarding autonomous vehicle control.
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