China’s first mind-controlled car

February 16, 2016
Danielle Gin  San Marino High  11th grade

By Danielle Gin
San Marino High
11th grade

China has developed what they say is the country’s first car that uses nothing but brainpower to drive.

The researcher of this mind-controlled car commented that there are two purposes for this innovation. The first purpose is to provide a driving method for the disabled who are unable to otherwise drive. The second purpose is to provide a new and more intellectualized mode of driving for healthy people.

Inside this mind-controlled car, the driver will wear a brain-signal reading device, with sensors that capture EEG (electroencephalogram) signals from the driver’s brain. These EEG signals will then be captured by a sophisticated computer system, which will process, categorize, and recognize people’s intentions, and then translate them into control commands to the car.

The result is, without moving their hands or feet, drivers can control the car to go forward, backwards, come to a stop, and both lock and unlock the car.

There were safety concerns about potential accidents caused by drivers being momentarily distracted. This is not the case as the only time that mental attention and concentration are required are to make changes to the vehicle’s moving status, such as making lane changes, stopping, or start moving forward. Supplemental safety systems will monitor road conditions, other vehicles, and make necessary speed adjustments or steering as current technology is already in use, such as automated cruise control, lane departure warnings, GPS navigation, and collision avoidance systems.

Regardless how much safety technology is implemented, only time will tell if public opinion will get behind the wheel of the new mind controlled vehicles.

As intriguing as this technology is, we are still far from a production model. Currently there are only prototypes being tested through collaboration with a Chinese car manufacturer, Great Wall Motor. At the present time, the vehicle can only travel in a straight line and there are no current plans to put it into production yet. Much more development and testing are still needed, but the ability to make such a vehicle is taking shape.

The need for the disabled to be able to get around is ever present. This technology seeks to overcome physical limitations and improve the quality of life for individuals who otherwise cannot steer regular cars.

The concept of a “driverless cars” opens the possibilities relating to brain control vehicles. Ultimately, whether driverless or not, using technology to create machines to serve human beings is the intended goal.



One Comment

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