Researchers in China have developed a new tech for controlling a vehicle, with your mind. The research team from Nankai University, in the Chinese port city of Tianjin invested two years in the development of a Brain-controlled vehicle. The project was led by Associate Professor Duan Feng, from the university’s college of Computer and Control Engineering.
As said by the researchers, the main objectives of the project is to provide a driving method without using hands or feet for the disabled; and secondly, to provide new and more intellectualized driving mode for the rest. The tech works by capturing EEG (electroencephalogram) signals from the driver’s brain with the help of an array of 16 sensors. The EEG signals are then transmitted wirelessly to a system and a developed program selects the relevant signals and translates them into driving commands.
At present the new tech can assist a driver to control the car to go forward, backwards, come to a stop, and both lock and unlock the vehicle, all without moving their hands or feet. Associate Professor Duan Feng said that concentration was needed only when changing the vehicle’s moving status, i.e. changing lanes or turning, therefore worries about potential road accidents caused by the driver being distracted while controlling the car are groundless. The concept vehicle is in collaboration with Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motor, but there are no plans to put it into production.
The concept technology aims at serving people, and that it might soon be possible to combine brain controlled technology and driverless cars such as the Google Self Driving Car (SDC) or Nokia HERE’s upcoming projects.
The research team used Haval H9 SUV from Great Wall Motors as the mule of the project. The Great Wall Motors is China’s largest SUV maker. The quick specs for the SUV are as follows, the H9 is powered by a 2.0litre 4-cylinder 16-valve, double VVT, CDI and turbocharged engine. The engine is good for 160PS at 5500 rpm and a max torque of 324 Nm at 4000 rpm.