• mind-controlled car

mind-controlled car (Photo : TheStack.com)

On July 15, Wednesday a Chinese university unveiled a mind-controlled car that would eliminate the need for a steering wheel and accelerator. A research team from Nankai University in Tianjin teamed up with Great Wall Motor, a Chinese automaker, to develop the headset-powered,self-driving car.

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The car operator controls the vehicle by a headset equipped with 16 sensors. They send brain signals from the headset wearer, to the vehicle's computer processing system linked to an electrical unit in the vehicle, according to Huffington Post.

Onlookers watched as the power of the mind made the vehicle start and brake, roll forward and backward, and be locked and unlocked, according to Financial Express. CCTV, the state-operated Chinese media, reported the big event. It claimed that the self-driving car does not harm humans.

Headset sensor sensors collect electrical brain impulses. Then the recognition system evaluates the signals, converts them into driving instructions, and then transmits them to the car.

The vehicle's design team claimed that it was the first time Chinese researchers used mind-control to operate a car.     

Duan Feng is is an associate professor at the university. He said that the car's communication system, Controller Area Network (CAN) is a tech breakthrough because in the past the human brain's signals could only control objects in a visual environment, or small itemssuch as wheelchairs.

Feng said that scientists have a long way to go until the technology can be used in commercial vehicles. Researchers must fine-tune the car's electronics.

Such upgrades will make the autonomous vehicle more intelligent, user-friendly, and secure. One application would be to make driving easier for disabled people.