HANDS OFF! The VW Passat doesn't need even a gentle touch - just good brain waves.
A team at the Free University in Berlin, German has since 2006 been developing systems that could eventually result in driverless, autonomous cars.
According to Gizmag's Ben Coxworth, they have already used an iPhone, an iPad and an eye-tracking device to steer a VW Passat test car. Now, using a commercially available Emotiv EPOC brain-machine gaming interface (interskull, perhaps?), they've demonstrated that a car can be controlled by mind power.
Changing, of course, 'I think, therefore I am' to 'I think, therefore I drive'. Which most people don't do when they're driving...ADVANCED TEST
Anyway, The AutoNOMOS system, called BrainDriver, acquires bio-electric signals from the driver through 16 electro-encephalograph sensors on the EPOC headset. Before getting behind the wheel, Gizmag reports, potential human drivers must spend some time on the system’s software tool kit learning to move a cube back and forth on a computer screen by altering their thought patterns.
Once on the road, BrainDriver links these patterns to assigned actuations (such as steering and acceleration) and sends the appropriate commands to the car’s drive-by-wire system.
In the first test of the technology, Gizmag said, the car drove itself autonomously to a road junction where its human occupant used thought patterns to tell it which way to turn. In the second, more advanced, test Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport, the occupant continuously controlled steering, acceleration and braking.
Gizmag reported there was "only a slight delay" between mental commands and the car's reactions.
The system is only a demonstration project but team members believe it could have applications in the future, such as allowing passengers to assist an autonomous car when the vehicle is unsure which way to go at an intersection.