Browsing all articles from December, 2015
Dec
17

Ready for the World’s First Brain-Powered Car?

Author JoeC    Category News, Technology     Tags

drivingThe age of tomorrow is here, it seems.

Futuristic automotive innovations may no longer be the stuff of science fiction. With inventions like self-driving vehicles already on the horizon from companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla, other sci-fi-esque vehicle technology may be right around the corner, too.

From Gas-Powered to Brain-Powered

No, it isn’t a 1960s episode of The Jetsons. This is 2015, and the reality of a vehicle that is powered directly by a person’s brain may be much closer than we think.

A prototype of an automobile that is controlled by the brain signals of its driver has reportedly been developed by a team at Nankai University in China. The development team members are innovating technology that utilizes brain signals to make a vehicle stop, move forward and backward, and lock and unlock.

The project began due to a desire to enable physically handicapped people to drive. With the right technology, those who can’t operate an automobile with their arms, legs, hands, and feet could, with the existence of a brain-powered vehicle, roll out on the highway under the power of their minds.

How It Works

A member of the research team for the project reports that headgear worn by the driver is made up of 16 electroencephalogram sensors that perceive brain activity. Once brain signals are sent out, a computer then analyzes and interprets those signals, translating them into the appropriate commands for the vehicle.

The Future of Automobiles

The automotive industry is abuzz with innovation these days, with smart vehicles on the horizon from Google within the next five years and self-driving automobiles slated to show up from Toyota and Nissan by 2020.

The brain-powering technology from the team at Nankai University is most definitely still in the development stages. At this point, the test cars from Great Wall Motors can only drive in a straight line at the brain’s behest.

At present, no plans are in effect to manufacture this technology and make it available to the masses. But, down the road, brain-powered cars just might become the next big thing in the automotive world.