Advances with cars have been interesting over the last couple of decades, with self-driving vehicles being a goal that is far closer to being reality. With the ability to drive a car without a driver, there is a lot of potential for disabled people to take control of cars and drive them. It does require a very different type of technology though as the car needs to be able to understand the input from a human driver while interpreting the surrounding area.
The technology for a car to interact with a person without their control recently occurred in Fountain, Colorado. A paraplegic patient was able to drive a racecar for numerous laps through the use of a brain microchip that allowed him to control the vehicle. The microchip allowed him to start the car and control the speed. A specialized helmet let him also steer the car. Until this point, he had been unable to drive following the car accident that left him paralyzed seven years earlier. The research team spent a year working with him and modifying the microchip so that it could communicate with the race car’s computer system. This is done through electrical changes in the mind that are processed by the computer, then translated into driving actions. The success of allowing a person to drive is very promising for even more complicated tasks being possible by people who are paralyzed.
If you are interested in watching a short clip, you can check out the article and see a short news clip about this astounding breakthrough at You Can Drive a Car with Brain Microchip, Shows Paralyzed Man.