Mercedes-Benz reveals the mind-control technology in its Vision AVTR concept car

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What just happened? Now that self-driving tech is becoming more commonplace, and even flying cars are a reality, what’s left for concept cars that showcase potential vehicles of the future? Mercedes-Benz answers that question with the Vision AVTR, a “living creature” that forms a physical and mental connection with its driver, kind of.

If you think that sounds like something from James Cameron’s Avatar, you’d be right. The 2009 movie heavily influences the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR; according to the press release, it forms “a biometric connection with the driver.”

That bold statement covers a few ideas: firstly, the car uses biometrics to identify the owner. That’s not an entirely new concept; Hyundai introduced a fingerprint scanner in the Santa Fe SUV in 2018, letting users start the engine with their fingerprint. But the AVTR goes a step further. A driver needs to just place their hand on the center console, which will power up the vehicle upon recognizing their breathing and heartbeat patterns.

“The stronger the focus, the higher the neuronal activity. The device then triggers the targeted function in the vehicle.”

As this is an autonomous vehicle—naturally—it could be possible to select preset destinations using just your mind (well, your eyes, really), and moving through music tracks would no longer require the arduous task of stretching out one’s arm to touch a button, or using something as tiring as voice control.

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