For now it is still a concept car, but Mercedes is working on the Vision AVTR so that it is possible for the user to control with his mind the lighting, music and navigation inside a vehicle.
The German brand presented the idea at the International Motor Show held in Munich, Germany. In practice, the technology integrated in the Vision AVTR concept car allows a connection between the driver’s brain and the on-board computer so that the vehicle functions can be activated, without the driver talking or touching buttons.
BCI technology translates brain activity into computer signals
The integrated technology is called BCI and is capable of translating brain activity by measuring electrical impulses, transforming them into signals that the software understands and executes.
In practice, this technology is based on the method of operation used in electroencephalograms (EEG) that monitor the electrical activity of the brain. The big difference is that BCI technology provides the electrical signals to an algorithm that, in turn, converts them into commands for the computer.
Adjustable wearable headband with included electrodes
It was at the Munich Motor Show that Mercedes presented the Vision AVTR concept car and visitors were able to experience BCI technology. This is included in the aforementioned concept car in the form of a wearable, with an adjustable headband, which is equipped with a sensor for the brain.
This sensor works with electrodes that register the driver’s brain activity and establish a direct connection with the vehicle. To boost brain signals and stimulate neuronic activity, car dashboard functions have light signals.
BCI technology permanently analyzes the driver’s brain waves and is able to recognize which points of light the driver is focused on. This is analyzed by the algorithm that transforms the neuron signals into a command. Something like changing the radio station or changing the driving mode to night.
The BCI technology and its algorithm were developed by the neurotechnology startup NextMind. And on this subject, Sid Kouider, founder and CEO of NextMind, said the company’s technology “opens up new possibilities for user interaction and engagement by instantly translating brain signals from the visual cortex into computer commands.”
The Vision AVTR is still a concept car and Mercedes does not plan to implement, in the near future, this type of technology in its commercial vehicles.
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