Think Your Way to Work in a Mind-Controlled Tesla

When you own an $80,000 car, a normal person might be inclined to never take it out of the garage. But normal often isn’t what we do around here, so seeing a Tesla S driven by mind control is only slightly shocking.

[Casey_S] appears to be the owner of the Tesla S in question, but if he’s not he’ll have some ‘splaining to do. He took the gigantic battery and computer in a car-shaped case luxury car to a hackathon in Berkley last week and promptly fitted it with the gear needed to drive the car remotely. Yes, the Model S has steering motors built in, but Tesla hasn’t been forthcoming with an API to access such functions. So [Casey_S] and his team had to cobble together a steering servo from a windshield wiper motor and a potentiometer mounted to a frame made of 2x4s. Linear actuators attach to the brake and accelerator pedals, and everything talks to an Arduino.

The really interesting part is that the whole thing is controlled by an electroencephalography helmet and a machine learning algorithm that detects when the driver thinks “forward” or “turn right.” It translates those thoughts to variables that drive the actuators. Unfortunately, space constraints kept [Casey_S] from really putting the rig through its paces, but the video after the break shows that the system worked well enough to move the car forward and steer a little.

There haven’t been too many thought-controlled cars featured here before, but we have covered a wheelchair with an EEG interface.

11 thoughts on “Think Your Way to Work in a Mind-Controlled Tesla

  1. While this is certainly an interesting project and has a number of potential applications, driving cars isn’t likely going to be one of them in light of the trend towards cars driving themselves.

    1. +1
      Why not interface directly with the car!? I might as well ‘think drive’ my old Chevrolet!
      Controlled by an Arduino, and if I sneeze it crashes into a tree.

      I’m still applauding the job [Casey_S] did, but I wouldn’t trust that with my life…
      …even on a test track. Car crashes suck no matter what the speed.

    2. “and everything talks to an Arduino.” was exactly where I stopped. 2×6’s?? Realy?! This could have been done in a $300 junker, but someone wanted the attention grabbing headline “Mind-Controlled Tesla” :\

  2. seems kind of dumb to do it in a ‘nice’ (expensive) car if you aren’t taking advantage of the existing hardware.
    it would have worked just as well as in an old banger from the scrap yard and less of a waste when if/when it eventually crashes.

    1. I think the point is that an electric car is more well behaved than just another banger of a car, and it has automatic braking and other safety features built in.

      Of course you’d be an idiot to trust that it works.

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