German researchers drive car with their mindsJustin Hyde2/18/11 10:00amFiled to: car techBrain WavesBrain-controlled drivingHands-free drivingAutoNomosGermanyVideoClips70EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink It's not quite Professor Xavier-level mind control, but researchers at AutoNOMOS Labs in Germany have developed a system that drives a vehicle by reading a person's brain waves. So this is what it feels like to watch the future. Advertisement The researchers had previously built autonomous cars and vehicles that could be controlled with an iPhone. Building a brain wave control required teaching a computer to read the electromagnetic signals from a set of sensors worn by a test driver/thinker, which at the moment is simply turning, accelerating and braking. The system isn't roadworthy — as the video shows, there's still a lag time between the driver's thought and the car's reaction, and it's not clear how precise the system can be — but it does prove the concept works.And how might it be used? The research team told IEEE Spectrum that the system could be paired with an autonomous taxi system; passengers could deliver directions simply by thinking them. We can see a downside; it's not always so easy to control our thoughts. What happens when someone gets Dave Matthews singing "Crash Into Me" stuck in their heads?