A team of researchers from Nankai University in China claim to have developed a controller that allows a car to be driven purely by thought.
From descriptions provided to date, the car can be driven in forward and backward directions, as well as stopped at will and even locked and unlocked all with mind control.
That means that the driver, can actually be in the back seat of the car – as long as visibility allows of course.
There are 16 EEG (electroencephalogram) sensors that capture signals from the driver’s brain and sends those to operating module the car.
‘The tester’s EEG signals are picked up by this (brain signal-reading) equipment and transmitted wirelessly to the computer,’ researcher Zhang Zhao told Reuters.
The system then processes the received brain activity and categorizes the signals into command intentions. The computer then translates the intentions into commands that map to the car’s architecture and hardware.
Although this may be accepted as entertainment in fun parks, there is little at the moment to suggest that development will receive funding to move to production. The main hurdles are the usual legalities and the apparent risk around the need for focus. There are little benefits to this over traditional hands-on driving that would rate this development above Self-Driving cars – which use a computer to autonomously control the vehicle.