Tech

McLaren reveals a mind-controlled F1 car


This is the future of racing. At least, it is in the eyes of McLaren. 

The MP4-X is the British racing team's literal dream machine - a concept vehicle that incorporates numerous tech bells and sci-fi whistles that McLaren's Applied Technologies team believes would make the sport faster and safer.

F1
F1

"Universities and companies are now able to understand brain patterns to an increasingly detailed level and then use this as a guide to understanding how people are thinking and behaving – this is a really interesting area," Jim Newton, market development director of McLaren Applied Technologies, told Wired"As a tactician and strategist, to know what's on the driver's mind at that time might help you in more tactical thinking, and then help you to optimise how you communicate with the driver. There's a reason that drivers mostly communicate on the straights, they're busy in the corners. So to understand to some degree what the driver was thinking without having to communicate verbally may be a considerable advantage."

Other advanced tech would see driver's wear a suit capable of monitoring a range of vital signals, providing life-saving data to paramedics with immediate effect in the case of a high-speed crash. Adaptive aerodynamics (currently banned by F1 rules) could see top speeds in excess of 230mph, and a greater reliance on battery technology.

Will the MP4-X ever get made? Almost certainly not - but expect many of its design nods to make their way into future cars, as the laws of F1 change and adapt to give way to faster, safer racing.

F1

Safety has been one of the foremost concerns of drivers, brought into tragic focus earlier this year when Jules Bianchi died from injuries sustained during 2014's Japanese Grand Prix.

In addition to introducing a closed hydrophobic, photochromatic cockpit - which incorporates a headsup display for drivers - the car would also monitor the brain patterns of its driver, allowing some functions and race strategies to be controlled by thought - or "cognitive human-machine interface, gesture control and brain synaptic control", to give it it's technical title.

[Via: Wired, McLaren]

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