BCI researches have achieved very promising results with brain-controlled cars. Earlier we have reported about Nissan, Honda and even Ferrari, all big companies who think that the driving wheel will be somehow merged with the drivers mind in the future. On top of that, a German research team has already managed to drive a car with an Emotiv EPOC headset. And now we would like to present the very cool and futuristic concept of Neuron, a brain-controlled car that is probably the most exciting application submitted to the Michelin Challenge Design 2012, an annual event that promotes, publicizes and gives visibility to original creative thinkers and innovators in vehicle design.
Neuron, the concept car, is an imagination of the consequences of implementing brain machine interface (or brain-computer interfaces, if you prefer that term) technology into the automobile. According to Ian Kettle, designer of Neuron, in the not so far future vehicles will become an extension of the self, that adapt to user needs whilst integrating within their environment seamlessly.
Kettle believes that by 2046 brain-computer interfaces will read all aspects of the users mind and develop much closer relationships between man and machine. If products do start becoming an extension of the self then the need for inbuilt safety systems and redundancies becomes less, allowing objects to lose weight and be stripped back to their core functionality.
Brain-computer interfaces could allow for much lighter cars that use less power to move and be constructed from previously unconsidered materials. All of this because the user is so in tune with their car that they are unlikely to crash and the weight and safety systems we have come to expect have been stripped away, leaving an automobile in its purest form.
In this predicted world, the need for physical interfaces and buttons is removed. If no physical controls are required, no steering wheel and therefore driver’s seat is required. Therefore by extension, no constrained interior architecture is needed and in its place, a freeform interior can exist. Synthetic nylon ‘grass’ strands envelop the users, allowing them to sit wherever they wish and imprinting their forms within the interior space that holds the shape for the duration of the journey.
Kettle also predicts that even in the future public transport will not be able to reach every destination, particularly in the suburbs of Shanghai. This will be where the car flourishes and where Kettle’s product- a flexible, lightweight and low impact vehicle- fits in and becomes a relevant means of transport.
Ian Kettle has undertaken collaborative projects with Ford Ingeni, Hyundai Europe, Honda Motorcycles, the London Transport Museum and Citroen, winning two of these projects and being shortlisted on several others. Ian also was shortlisted for the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers Bursary, the Helen Hamlyn Award for Inclusive Design and the Berman Autostyle Awards 2010, whilst also recently winning the 2011 Interior Motives Award for ‘Best Conceptual Interior’ at the IAA Frankfurt Motorshow.
The source of the above text plus the full concept brief can be found at michelinchallengedesign.com.