Emotiv_EPOC_headsetTired of always keeping your hands on the steering wheel, your foot on the gas pedal and your eyes on the road? And how much are we distracted by talking, texting, shaving or putting make up on while driving? About 16% of all traffic accidents are the result of a driver’s distraction. How about a technology that allows people to drive cars using their thought, not the steering wheel and the pedal?

It appears that the cars of the future that will be able to read our minds are within our reach. German researchers have developed a car that can be controlled with your mind. The genius behind the brain-powered car is Paul Rojas and his team of computer scientists at the Artificial Intelligence Group at Germany’s Freie Universitat Berlin. The prototype they built is a modified Volkwagen Passat, equipped with a system that allows drivers to control basic functions of the engine such as steering left and right as well as speeding up and slowing down.

Their project is called BrainDriver. They use a neuroheadset, commercially available device from Emotiv, a San Francisco-based company. The tool is originally developed for video games and is designed to detect and record the brain’s electrical activity. The Emotive neuroheadset is a helmet that has 16 sensors and can read brain activity patterns. The car is equipped with video cameras, laser sensors, radar that provide 3-D view of the surroundings. The driver, however, needs a special training, so he could think of the appropriate instructions at the right times.

The technology of the BrainDriver can change the way we use automobiles and many other devices in our daily lives. It has the potential to provide new solutions for people with disabilities. The steering wheel and the remote control might just be on their way of turning into relics of the past.
Are you ready to leave the driving to your brain?

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