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BY STEVEN SPARKMAN You're watching multisource science new from Newsy Who needs steering wheels, anyway? Engineers at the Free University of Berlin have come up with a system that might one day send the wheel the way of reins. Science Daily explains. “The computer scientists have developed a system making it possible to steer a car with your thoughts. Using new commercially available sensors to measure brain waves... the scientists were able to distinguish the bioelectrical wave patterns for control commands such as ‘left,’ ‘right,’ ‘accelerate’ or ‘brake’ in a test subject.” That’s right, cars that can read your mind. Of course, not every car is psychic. The one they used is nearly autonomous, but now it has electrical ESP. This video from AutoNOMOS Labs shows the psychic car in action. “The car’s equipped with video cameras, radars, and laser sensors that provide the car with a full 3-dimensional view of its surroundings. The car drives automatically to the corner. At the intersection, the test subject orders the car to take a right. ... After a small delay, the car turns around the corner as you can see.” The mind-reading tech is just a proof of concept right now and isn’t going to be on the road for some time. But a writer for Spectrum Magazine notes the potential uses are huge for people who can’t operate cars the conventional way. “This type of non-invasive brain interface could also allow disabled and paralyzed people to gain more mobility in the future, similarly to what is already happening in applications such as robotic exoskeletons and advanced prosthetics.” The same lab has been exploring alternative ways to operate cars for a while. Over the past few years, they’ve used iPhone apps to drive cars remotely and followed that up by using eye-movement scanners to steer. The goal? Fully autonomous cars that can easily interact with their human passengers. (Video source: AutoNOMOS Labs) Of course, there are still plenty of technological hurdles. Not every car has radar, for instance. But a writer for Jalopnik points out the most problematic part of using your brain to interface with your car might be -- you. “We can see a downside; it's not always so easy to control our thoughts. What happens when someone gets Dave Matthews singing ‘Crash Into Me’ stuck in their heads?” So are you looking forward to thinking at your car or would you rather chat with it like KITT from Knight Rider? Share your thoughts on motorized mediums in our comments section. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
22 Feb 2011
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