In January 2020, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the VISION AVTR — a car inspired by the 2009 blockbuster Avatar – and like the film, it wanted to bring humans and machines closer than ever using its “ADVANCED VEHICLE TRANSFORMATION” platform. Now, at the IAA Mobility 2021 showcase, the marque has announced the inclusion of brain-computer interfaces (BCI), meaning that the VISION AVTR can be controlled by the power of thought.
From selecting the navigation destination to changing the radio station or setting the ambient lighting, everything you see inside — and some of the outside functions — can be controlled using your brain. BCI is more than a gimmick, though, as it could open up possibilities to help disabled people drive, and in day-to-day life, BCI could change the way all of us use and interact with our cars.
It works by attaching the BCI device to the user’s head which subsequently measures brain waves that send information to the car, in turn telling it what to do. Real-time information derived from neuronal activity at the cortex is combined with the BCI that measures if a user is interacting with prompts on the screen in front of them, and together this can be used to control the dashboard. As Mercedes-Benz says, the dashboard can be used to “generate wind, grow plants, select parking spaces to charge, or turn day into night.”
We have seen this car before, and nothing on the exterior has changed. So, it features a “one-bow” design that’s dominated by the front, rear, and wheel lights and, of course, the big transparent door in the middle. There’s also a big focus on sustainability, as the car features “vegan DINAMICA leather made from recycled materials, fast-growing Karuun (rattan) that can only thrive in biodiversity, and organic, compostable battery technology [that] create a closed-loop economy.”
Take a look at the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR above, and stay tuned for more information as news unfolds.
In other news, Tesla might release a steering wheel-less car in 2023.