, has been working on thought-control computer chips since 2019.
Mercedes takes a leap into the future
The idea of controlling a car with your mind might seem more like science fiction than reality. With this innovation, Mercedes is taking a huge leap into futuristic technology.
In fact, the vehicle’s design was inspired by the film Avatar, and the car was engineered to drive sideways, as well as forward and backward. Mercedes has even compared the model’s brain-computer interface (BCI) to the Na’vi people from Avatar, who are able to interface directly and wordlessly with their flying Mountain Banshees.
Drivers, or, more aptly, users, of the VISION AVTR, will wear the BCI device around their head. First, the BCI is calibrated to the individual user. Then, the device can pick up signals from the user’s brain that work to control various functions of the car, including navigation, climate control, radio control, and
, Mercedes-Benz board member Britta Seeger said of the model, "BCI technology works completely independently of speech and touch." All the BCI user must do is concentrate on a light in the vehicle’s digital display, and mind control of car functions will be enabled.
For several years, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has been working on his innovative Neuralink program, the ultimate goal of which is to enable a computer chip to interface with the human brain. In 2020, Musk demonstrated the program’s efficacy by testing it on a pig. Musk claimed that the connection between the pig’s brain and the chip had been maintained for two months.
, Musk called the device a "Fitbit in your skull" and reported that the chip itself was "about the size of a large coin." At the presentation, he joked, "I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn’t know…maybe I do."
article reported that Musk’s eventual aim is for the Neuralink program to cure human medical conditions such as hearing loss, memory loss, extreme pain, seizures, blindness, addiction, paralysis, depression, anxiety, insomnia, brain damage, and strokes. Musk said that these medical conditions "can be solved with an implantable neural link," reasoning that, "the neurons are like wiring, and you kind of need an electronic thing to solve an electronic problem."
The Neuralink program has been tested on a reported 19 different animals, with results showing that it is effective in around 87% of cases. According to Musk, the device will be able to connect to Bluetooth through the user’s phone.
Mercedes weds Musk’s interface device with vehicle technology
Mercedes integrates Musk’s groundbreaking technology into its new model, the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR. The concept car was on display recently at the 2021 Munich Auto Show.
According to Fox News, Seeger said that the model’s technology "opens up revolutionary possibilities for intuitive interaction with the vehicle." She added, "Mercedes-Benz has always pioneered intelligent,
Isabel is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. She holds a master's of English literature from the University of Toronto, where she worked as a student journalist for four years. In her free time, Isabel loves to read, write, and cook, and she serves as the blog news editor for Toronto feminist magazine Shameless. You can find her writing in places like This magazine, She Does the City, and U of T News.