Skip to main content

Brain-controlled car can drive you in a straight line

Test driving China’s first mind-controlled car
Google may be developing a self-driving car, but a team of Chinese researchers is one-upping the work being done at Mountain View with a car that is controlled using only your thoughts. Two years in the making, China’s first brain-controlled car was recently demonstrated at Nankai University in the northeast city of Tianjin.

Speaking to Reuters, researcher Zhang Zhao described the system, which is being developed with the help of Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motor. The brain control unit fits on the driver’s head and uses 16 sensors that record the electroencephalogram (EEG) signals from the brain. These signals are sent wirelessly to a computer program that filters out the relevant signals and translates them into commands to control the car. “The core of the whole flow is to process the EEG signals, which is done on the computer,” said Zhang.

Related: Google hires the guy behind Tesla’s Autopilot feature

Using brain control, a driver can move a car forward, place it in reverse, slow to a stop and both lock and unlock the vehicle. In its current iteration, the brain-controlled car can only drive in a straight line, but changing lanes and turning may be possible in the future. The technology also may be used to augment driverless car platforms by allowing the user to exert control over the car when needed. “Driverless cars’ further development can bring more benefits to us, since we can better realize functions relating to brain controlling with the help of the driverless cars’ platform,” said project leader Associate Professor Duan Feng. “In the end, cars, whether driverless or not, and machines are for serving people.”

Initially, the project was conceived as a way to help disabled people who physically cannot drive a car. The brain control mechanism makes it possible for drivers with a disability to control the car without using their hands or feet. It also provides a novel way for healthy individuals to control their car. The technology is still in the early stages of development and currently is being evaluated as a prototype only. There are no plans to incorporate the brain control mechanism into existing car technology.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
Best dash cam deals: Protect your ride from just $39
Rexing V1 dash cam

There are a lot of difficult drivers on the road, and a great way to protect yourself from potential insurance issues is with a dash cam. A dash cam will ensure everything that goes on while you’re driving is recorded. The best dash cams can typically record in multiple directions, making them a great option for Uber drivers who want to keep their customers safe and protect themselves from potential legal issues as well. You can save big on a new dash cam right now, as there are quite a few dash cam deals worth shopping. Below you’ll find what we feel are the best dash cam deals to choose from right now, so read onward for more details on how to save.
70mai Smart Dash Cam 1S -- $40, was $50

The 70mai Smart Dash Cam 1S is the cheapest option in this list, but it doesn't feel like it because it's packed with features. The dash cam, which supports microSD memory cards of up to 64GB, records footage at 1080p Full HD resolution with night vision capabilities thanks to its Sony IMX307 image processor and f/2.2 aperture. With its built-in G sensor, the dash cam will detect an accident and lock footage to prevent overwrites. You can use voice commands to ask the dash cam to take photos or to start recording videos, and you can use its accompanying app to watch real-time footage and to download files to your phone.

Read more
Rivian R2 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5: Should you wait for the Rivian R2?
Rivian R2

Rivian has taken the wraps off of the Rivian R2, an electric SUV that's similar to the much-loved R1S, but smaller and, crucially, cheaper. But the R2 goes up against some serious competition. The likes of Hyundai have been building solid EVs for some time now -- including the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The R2 and the Ioniq 5 each make a compelling case for themselves, and they're likely to end up being similarly priced if the Ioniq 5 doesn't get much cheaper and the R2 does end up being sold at $45,000. To be fair, the cars are pretty different -- the R2 is more of an SUV, while the Ioniq 5 is much more crossover-sized. But because of their similar price, you might be deciding between the two. How do they compare? We put the Rivian R2 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 head-to-head.
Design
The differences between the Rivian R2 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are perhaps no more apparent than when it comes to design.

Read more
The 6 best remote car starters in 2024
Best car remote starters

While some modern vehicles come standard with remote start features, it's still relatively uncommon. That's a shame because if you live somewhere where cold weather, snow, and ice are frequent concerns, a remote car starter is one of the best auto accessories you can have. If you're not familiar with them, a remote car starter works similarly to a key fob, except it will actually start your car from a distance instead of just unlocking the doors or trunk. That means you can start your car from the warm comfort of your home or office before venturing out. If you live somewhere hot, you can even start your car and let the AC run for a little bit. You'll never enter a freezing cold or scorching hot vehicle again.

The best remote car starters have long ranges, replaceable batteries, and other handy features — but how do you know which is best for you? We’ve compiled a list of the best car starters in a range of prices and features. Keep in mind that while you can install some yourself, some will require a professional.
The best remote car starters in 2024

Read more