Drive by Minding

Technology Review recently had a story on how researchers have developed methods to detect a driver’s intent to press the brakes while driving a car. Though only in the initial stages of research, the implications are that one day we may be able to drive our cars simply by thinking.

So how did they do it?  Post author Kristina Bjoran describes the set-up:

With electrodes attached to the scalps and right legs of drivers in a driving simulator, they used both electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) respectively to detect the intent to brake. These electrical signals were seen 130 milliseconds before drivers actually hit the brakes—enough time to reduce the braking distance by nearly four meters.

Besides the affront to popular fashion in having to wear electrode studded caps, I wonder if people would actually want to drive their cars via thought? I don’t know how many times I’ve fantasized ramming my car into some jerk driver who cut me off. Now, I’d never really want to do that, but if my car read my impulsive thoughts, I might find myself in someone’s trunk. And what about when my mind wanders?

So what do you think? (no pun intended!)

About EDC

EDC is an award-winning author with a passion for telling imaginative stories resonating with universal truths. His latest novel, Runaway, is a futuristic action/adventure inspired by the book of Philemon. EDC was born in Georgia, growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, where he now lives with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Emma. Besides writing and being employed as an analyst in the airline industry, he has worked as a volunteer with youth, church planting, and Compassion International. He enjoys landscape gardening, listening to alternative rock, and playing the swordfight game on Wii Sports Resort.
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1 Response to Drive by Minding

  1. Sounds like a great idea, but I’m like you: the mind tends to wander and get distracted pretty easily. What might be neat are those cars you see in iRobot or Minority Report where they do the driving for you–like on autopilot. You would have to eliminate lots of variables though—might make driving more restrictive, less freedom to roam.

    Great post!

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