While Google and other automakers were developing autonomous cars, a group of Chinese researchers were working on a way to control vehicles with your mind. The team from Nankai University in mainland China has recently demonstrated the system, and it's clear that you don't have to be Magneto to be able to control a hulking piece of metal. It uses a headset (the girl in the image above is wearing one) that has 16 sensors to capture EEG signals from the brain, which are then wirelessly transmitted to a computer that sorts through them to find the relevant bits. The program then translates those relevant signals into commands the car can carry out, such as move forward, backward, stop and lock or unlock the car.
According to Reuters, the project was originally started a couple of years ago for the sake of people with disabilities who can't use their limbs to steer a vehicle. The study's head honcho (Associate Professor Duan Feng) believes, however, that merging this technology with driverless cars isn't an impossibility. "Driverless cars' further development can bring more benefits to us," he said, "since we can better realize functions relating to brain [control] with the help of the driverless cars' platform." Sadly, a car that can both drive on its own and respond to your thoughts might still be far off, seeing as the Nankai team's technology only allows the driver to move the car in straight lines.
[Image credit: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images]