A technology that can already be tested
Selecting our destination in the navigator by thought control, choosing the ambient light in the interior or changing the radio station are just some of the possibilities offered by the brain-computer interface (BCI): a new form of control and person-vehicle interaction, in the purest style of the protagonists of Avatar.
While it is true that BCI applications will not be available in everyday life in the near future, they are no longer mere science fiction. In the field of medical research, for example, they are already seen as a viable option that could help people with physical disabilities to become more independent.
At the VISION AVTR booth at the Munich Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is offering the opportunity to test for the first time a preview of how BCI technology would work in a vehicle.
The user simply attaches the BCI device to the back of his or her head and after a minute-long calibration process, the device analyzes and measures his or her brain waves and activates a defined function. The stronger the concentration, the greater the neural activity and therefore the faster and more effective the interaction.
Thus, you can experience firsthand what it would be like to control a vehicle interface with your thoughts and interact with it in real time. BCI technology works completely independently of speech and touch, opening up revolutionary possibilities for the future.
In addition, instead of a conventional steering wheel, the VISION AVTR has a multifunctional control element in the center console that can also be tested: by placing the hand on the control, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognizes the passenger by his or her heart rate.
With the development of the voice assistant that the brand has dubbed ‘Hey Mercedes’ and the MBUX Hyperscreen concept, Mercedes-Benz is already working to radically simplify vehicle operation, but BCI technology goes one step further.
According to Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Group Research, “it can enable the user to focus even more on the driving experience.” The biometric connection enables a completely new interaction between man and machine, but also with nature.
The name of this concept that mimics the neural connection between the Na’vi stands for “advanced vehicle transformation” and with its elongated arc-shaped design and the use of sustainable and recycled materials in the interior, it embodies the vision of Mercedes-Benz designers, engineers and trend researchers for mobility in the distant future.
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