Nanking University researcher Zhang Zhao is working on a car that a person drives using only his or her mind.
Wearing a headset comprised of 16 EEG sensors, a computer program in the vehicle continuously scans the driver’s mind and translates brainwaves into vehicle controls, allowing a person’s thoughts to tell the vehicle everything from whether or not to go forward and backward forward and backward, or whether or not to lock or unlock the car doors.
“The computer processes the signals to categorize and recognize people’s intention, then translates them into control command to the car. The core of the whole flow is to process the EEG signals, which is done on the computer,” Zhao said.
Zhao reassured reporters that absentmindedness will not be an issue with the car because full concentration is only required when the vehicle is changing lanes or turning… but come on. Think about how easily distracted people are these days. Studies have shown, for example, the average American’s attention span is 8 seconds — shorter than that of a goldfish.
While most of us can appreciate the mind car’s value for allowing someone with physical disabilities to drive, the idea of everyone behind the “wheel” of one of these is kind of horrifying if you think about it for more than a minute after the “Oh cool, brain cars” headline wears off, and not just because of drunk drivers or people who text and drive.
Then again, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that it is only a mistake of design that cars were designed before computers because the government wouldn’t have allowed any of us peons to drive our own car.
On a darker note, does this mean we’re entering an era where someday someone can mind hack your car?
Dun dun DUUUUUN!!!
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