Mind Controlled Car: BrainDriver Features and Release Possibilities

Posted on 22 February 2011 by author

The mind is definitely a very powerful organ that controls almost all our body’s movements as well as the body processes happening inside our body. So how would it sound to you knowing that your mind can be used to control a car? You may have second thoughts about it, but technology seems to make a lot of impossible things possible. This is a result of a research conducted by some German researchers and apparently they have a video to prove that it is really possible for a human brain to control a car.

An Al professor from Freie Universitat Berlin named Raul Rojas and his team has demonstrated how a driver can use his brain to maneuver a vehicle. Apparently, they get the idea of getting into this research project after testing several devices like the iPhone, iPad and an eye-tracking device as a possible user interfaces that can be used to control their research car. These researchers would like to explore the possibility of controlling the said research car by making use of the human brain in a project that they have called as the BrainDriver project.

In doing so, the researchers make use of an Emotiv neuroheadset, an EEG sensor by a San Francisco-based company that is primarily used for gaming, and record brain activity. And after a few rounds of mental training and exercises, the driver was able to move virtual objects simply by thinking.

Based on the research, each action corresponds to a different brain activity pattern and the BrainDriver software associates these patterns to specific commands. The researchers then feed these commands to the drive-by-wire system of their research vehicle, which is a modified version of the Volkswagen Passat Variant 3c and as a result the driver can now control the vehicle’s engine, brakes and steering.

Here’s a demonstration of this concept:

However, the researchers of this project emphasized that the BrainDriver application is for demonstration purposes only and not yet really ready for the road, but in the future it is expected that we are going to see human-machine interfaces like this one in the field of driving especially in combination with autonomous vehicles.

This research only shows that there is really nothing impossible with technology. But before we see this thing in the road, further study and testing needs to be done first to ensure safety at all times. This technology seems to have a long way to go before we finally see it in action.


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