According to an article in Mobile Magazine, German researchers at an outfit called AutoNOMOS Labs have built a proof-of-concept system that makes a car responds to mental commands.
The experimental system actually uses the Emotiv headset, which I mentioned in the post about the similar iPod-based X-Wave headset.
In the proof-of-concept described in the video below, the system basically drives itself using video cameras and laser and radar sensors, but when it reaches an intersection it accepts commands from the 16 sensors picking up electromagnetic impulses from the driver’s brain, and turns the car accordingly. The second experiment in the video gives the driver the ability to accelerate and decelerate the car as well as picking which way it turns. There is a brief lag between the thought and the vehicle’s action. Like all brain-interface headsets, the system seems to get easier to use the more you train yourself.
It’s an awfully long way from this to an actual thought-driven vehicle, but it’s interesting to see the first steps into using this technology in the real world.