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!)