Last month, a paralyzed man was able to control a NASCAR race car using only his mind thanks to incredible ‘brain-controlled driving technology’. It was a ground-breaking moment for many.
At the age of 16, German Aldana suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, which robbed him of the use of his limbs.
Frustrations over losing his independence were temporarily put aside last month, when he drove a race car around Pikes Peak International Raceway using mind-control technology. A microchip was implanted on the surface of Aldana’s brain, which allowed him to control the car’s throttle and drive around the oval track.
“What we’re doing here today is we’re watching our driver, who is spinal cord injured, drive a 850-horsepower NASCAR Cup car around this track hands-free, feet-free with our specialised helmet, but throttle control is entirely with the brain…anytime our driver, German, thinks ‘throttle on’, the computers and the algorithm know to send it to the throttle of the car.”Dr. Scott Falci, Falci neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center
Video of German Aldana’s experience shows him turning laps on the 1 mile oval, marking the first public demonstration of Falci Adaptive Motorsports Brain-Controlled driving technology.
German Aldana officially drove the No. 78 NASCAR around the Pikes Peak International Raceway oval with ‘backup’ driver Ryan Dussex at the wheel. Dr. Falci has expressed hopes to be able to allow people to control all aspects of the car. There is hope the innovative technology can be developed to allow those with disabilities to have more independence.