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Mercedes-Benz Is Experimenting With Mind Control in Vehicles

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Drivers will be able to change settings as they drive by staring at light dots and thinking about them.

Mercedes-Benz has used the IAA Mobility 2021 show in Munich this week to unveil a number of new vehicles, but it’s a concept car that’s turning heads because it uses mind control.

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

Concept vehicles demonstrate what could be possible in the future rather than what will be in next year’s vehicles, and the Vision AVTR is exactly that. There’s no wheel, buttons, or dials inside the car, just smooth surfaces capable of acting as a display. Interacting with the car’s systems will be achieved through a brain-computer interface (BCI).

“Mercedes-Benz is setting another milestone in the merging of man and machine with the research and development of brain-computer interface applications in cars. BCI technology has the potential to further enhance driving comfort in the future, for example,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Sales.

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

The driver will wear a BCI device attached to the back of their head, and after a short calibration, it can measure brain waves and trigger a number of predefined actions. Light dots are projected on to the digital dashboard, which the driver can focus on to trigger a specific action. The BCI device detects which light dot is the focus and initiates the desired response.

If and when Mercedes-Benz launches a vehicle with thought control depends on a number of factors, such as how reliable it is and how easily a driver can change their focus while also concentrating on the road ahead. That in turn means there are also a few safety questions that need to be answered.
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