German engineers have rigged up a Volkswagen Passat so it maneuvers using only the driver's mental directions. This technology could lead to a new age in which people actually use their brains while driving.
The technology Autonomos Labs uses to mind control the modified Volkswagen Passat Variant 3c should be quite familiar to long-time Kotaku readers. It's simply a $300 electroenzephalogram tool from Emotiv of San Francisco, the same type of system our own Brian Crecente tried playing games with back in 2008.
Of course that's no ordinary car the Emotiv headset is hooked up to. The Volkswagen Passat, dubbed "MadeinGermany", is a high-tech autonomous car, packed with laser radars, microwave radars, stereo cameras, and enough technology to enable it to drive on its own. Autonomos has already demonstrated the vehicle being driven with an iPad, so the brain is the next logical step.
New Scientist suggests the technology could be the precursor to the driverless Johnny Cabs from the movie Total Recall. Me? I've got visions of Shadowrun's riggers dancing in my head, the ultimate mental melding of man and machine.
Autonomos' tech is still a ways away from that, however. There's a delay of several seconds between the driver's thought and the vehicles actions. Still, it's a good start. Perhaps if the sensors were placed directly in the brain, instead of resting on the skull, we could increase reaction time.
Not that I'm volunteering.
Okay, I'm totally volunteering.
Mind control puts you in charge of driverless cars [New Scientist]