Mercedes has unveiled their latest concept car. The Vision AVTR is a car not only powered by electricity but also your brain, courtesy of a new technological interface.

The forward thinking car was announced and displayed in Germany at the IAA Mobility 2021, the world’s largest mobility of the future event, though the car is still in the concept phase of development.

Both the interior and exterior of the car are sci-fi inspired and incredibly futuristic, but the main feature Mercedes was showcasing was the new technology Brain Computer Interface (BCI). 

The technology

Drivers of the car won’t be using the device to actually drive the car. Instead, Mercedes are hoping drivers will be able to use the BCI technology to control parts of the user interface.

For example, changing the channel on the radio station or using a different colour for the lights inside the interior of the car could be done just by thinking about it.

Future hopes for the BCI technology system include a driver being able to select a destination on the sat-nav using just the power of thought alone. However, this development could be decades away.

Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Britta Seeger, noted how the company is ‘setting another milestone in the merging of man and machine’.

“BCI technology works completely independently of speech and touch. This opens up revolutionary possibilities for intuitive interaction with the vehicle. To make the BCI system work, the driver is required to wear a type of helmet with wearable electrons attached to the back of their head.” She added.

The helmet and electrons are made to record brain activity and take a minute to calibrate before connecting the driver directly to the vehicle.

The car will then project dots of light onto the digital dashboard, to which the driver’s brain would then react to the visual stimuli, a reaction which would then be measured by the head device.

The helmet would then analyse the driver’s brain waves to recognise which of the points of light the driver focused on. This would result in whichever function the driver had selected then beginning.

A timeline has not yet been set by Mercedes as to when such technology will be made available in the cars, while the technology also still needs to be proven effective and safe.

The design

The main inspiration for the design of the concept car is the blockbuster film Avatar. With it’s futuristic wheels designed to replicate “seeds of the sacred tree” in the film, and a stunning choice of photographic interior design that can change to a range of different avatar scenes.

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