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Thought-Controlled Car

March 16, 2011

German scientists have engineered a car that can be driven by thinking.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Driving by thinking…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

On a former airport tarmac in Germany, volunteers have been test-driving a car without using their hands or feet.  Instead, they control the vehicle with their thoughts.  Computer scientist Raul Rojas of Freie University in Berlin directs the project.  The driver’s head is fitted with electrodes, which connect to a computer that controls the car.  He then learns to accelerate, brake, or turn left or right, just by thinking in certain ways.  Rojas says it’s mentally exhausting, but he doesn’t intend to put cars like this on the road anytime soon.

RAUL ROJAS (Freie Universität Berlin):

It’s just proof of concept, of how far the technology has gone already.

HIRSHON:

He says that since cars are relatively complicated, they can teach engineers how to design other, more practical thought-controlled machines, like robots or wheelchairs.   I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.