W​ould you 'drive' a car without a steering wheel?

A​ brilliant idea?

James Cameron’s ‘AVATAR’ is a fascinating film. Not least because it’s both the most forgettable film of the 21st century and one of the highest-grossing films of all time. 

For whatever rare reason, I was recently reminded of the Cameron’s unremarkable blockbuster and found myself mulling over one of the fantastical abilities of the Na’vi (i.e. the ten-foot-tall humanoid aliens) in the film; namely their ability to control the movements of certain animals with their mind. 

I came here for cars, not some sci-fi crash-course. 

Hang in there. I’ll get to cars soon enough. As I was saying…

To control the movement of other animals, the Na’vi essentially connect the braided appendage that dangles from their head to their animal of choice. Oddly, that was also how they *ahem* ‘made love’…

This all sounds incredibly disturbing. 

It’s not anywhere near as explicit as it sounds. 

Anyhow, this got me thinking: what if people could control cars with their mind alone? 

I am not “connecting” my “appendage” to a car if that’s what you mean.

Oh. My. Days. That was NOT where I was going with this.

I was thinking more along the lines of telekinesis. 

You have lost the plot. That’s impossible. Nothing more than a fanciful dream.

Except it isn’t. 

Ever heard of Elon Musk?

The mad head-honcho from Tesla? Yeah, I’ve heard of him.

Put your preconceptions aside for a moment. Despite his grandiose reputation, Musk is an absolute genius. 

Not content with launching men and cars alike into space, Musk is also developing implantable brain-machine interfaces that will enable humans to interact with technology like never before.  

As I said, he sounds mad.

You say mad, I say trail-blazer.

Regardless, the point is, the day is coming when we could potentially control cars with our minds alone. 

That sounds like a terrible idea.

You think so?

I think it would be wonderfully immersive.

Journalists are forever banging on about how the best driving sports cars feel like an extension of your body. In my hypothetical case, a mind-controlled car would literally be an extension of your body. 

Imagine if they could develop a way to transmit sensory feedback from the tyres into the driver’s brain to further absorb people into the driving experience. 

What happens when you drive on gravel?

Actually, forget that last idea. It might get painful. 

You don’t see any complications with this whole idea?

Absolutely none at all. 


OK. Maybe one. 

Which is?

I imagine driving a car with one’s mind would require a considerable amount of effort and concentration.

And seeing as my mind often wanders like a lost tourist in an unknown city, I’d probably end up wrapped around a tree within 5 minutes.

But I suspect it would be the best 5 minutes of my life.

This whole article has euphemistic undertones. 

It was unintentional. 


N​oah, moments before spewing off into a tree.

N​oah, moments before spewing off into a tree.

Photography credit: manufacturers

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Comments (25)

  • Would you wear shoes without a sole? No I wouldn’t because it is missing the main point of the item!

    Even I my car could drive itself I would still want a manual override incase it goes all terminator on us and the computers begin to take over 😂

      1 month ago
    • Oh, but you ARE manually driving. Just with your mind...

        1 month ago
    • Wonder how that would work, oh look at that nice tree over there, car drives straight at it?

        1 month ago
  • No

      1 month ago
  • The only application I can see this for is those who have have lost their limbs in an unfortunate circumstances. The tech hasn't come far enough for those folks to use vehicles with just their minds, I wish it had. If companies spent more on developing that side, maybe there could some development n experience under their bets for mass use perhaps, but suspect there is not concrete business case, hence we have not seen further developments aside from special rigged of vehicles to replace conventional pedals n steering. For myself, down with current mechanical connections, left foot for clutch, right for throttle n brakes, left hand for steering n signal,n right for gearbox m steering.

      1 month ago
    • I don't think it'll ever be a viable option. Though I think the damning factor will be the propensity of people to get distracted while driving...

        1 month ago
  • What happens if you get suddenly distracted like if you want to poop?🤔

      1 month ago
  • Driving with no steering wheel but with a joystick(like in an A330)?🤔😂

      1 month ago