You have probably heard about Elon Musk’s ambitious, futuristic, mind-blowing Neuralink project. He and his team are planning to make a connection between the human brain and the computer. With Neuralink technology, Musk aims to plant a chip in the human brain that can read what the brain says. The technology brings with it a vast majority of capabilities, from curing several diseases and restoring lost abilities, to letting us control numerous devices with only our brain.
Although Neuralink can be used in different industries and the possibilities are endless, we are targeting the self-driving cars industry in this article. Musk’s other company, Tesla, has been working on self-driving cars for several years. It wouldn’t be odd to think about the synergy between Neuralink and Tesla cars. Musk is aiming to connect his two projects together. In other words, Neuralink will soon be used to control the cars with the brain.
On the other hand, there are some sorts of self-driving cars controlled by AI. Although they are not yet fully autonomous, the high speed at which the industry is prospering is undeniable.
Neuralink, AI, and self-driving cars
Chances are that you are currently using conventional methods to drive a car. To rephrase it, you probably still use a steering wheel and push your feet on the accelerator and brake pedals to force the car to move.
With the advancement of Neuralink and such technologies, you will soon be able to transmit your commands from your brain to the car system. This is going to be the fastest communication method ever; however, there are some points that should be considered:
Siri and Alexa; the speed issue
Siri and Alexa are AI-based systems. Drivers can soon use spoken commands to control the car using these systems in their cars. “Hey, driving system, accelerate to 70 miles per hour!” Or, “driving system, slow down, hit the brake!”
Too lengthy, not at all practical. It takes a long time to send oral commands to the car, maybe even slower than how fast you can control the car with your hands and feet.
Compare the speed of these systems with your mind’s speed now. Just imagine you have Neuralink implanted in your head and connected to your car system wirelessly. You can mentally start your car and drive with any speed you prefer in a flash.
AI and fake commands
What happens if you send orders unknowingly? Perhaps you talk to your companion about how fast you had been driving someday, and the car’s AI system wrongly hears your ordinary talking as a command to change the speed.
Neuralink can be of help in such a situation. It can detect the firings in your brain and tell the difference between some memories in the past and a command to change the driving conditions. This way, you can drive carefully without the car being prone to wrongly identify a normal memory as a command.
Even if Neuralink can filter your thoughts precisely and handpick only those relevant to driving, and even if the car system can grab only those thoughts that are real commands, there is still one more problem. What if you cannot think wisely at the moment of driving your car? What if you are not sober? Or, what if you feel sleepy?
The answer to such a question may lie in the cooperation between the AI and Neuralink. This can be just like co-sharing the driving process with you.
Let’s elaborate on that more. What if AI and Neuralink both help to control the car? This way, if your mind orders something wrongly making your car prone to having incidents, the AI can intervene and take over the car. In other words, this is like having a sober buddy by your hand to help you drive carefully.
AI cannot do the job alone.
In the midst of this discussion, one may ask why shouldn’t we cut out the human interference and let the AI alone do the job? Why do we need to investigate the risks a drunk driver might possibly make?
The truth is that we don’t know yet whether AI can get to that point where it can fully autonomously drive a car. Some experts say yes, we are not far from that point, while others believe reaching that point takes a very long time or maybe it never happens.
That is why even if we use AI to control the car, the presence of humans still seems to be mandatory.
At the moment, it seems that neither AI nor Neuralink is alone able to make fully functional self-driving cars available. The AI is not yet fully developed to deliver a car that can drive itself without any human interference. On the other hand, Neuralink has not even been tested in the medical field which is Musk’s most primary target of creating it, let alone in the industry of self-driving cars.
However, the combination of the two seems to be practical. Nobody still knows what happens at the end of Neuralink and AI projects battling to present fully self-driving cars, but maybe the simultaneous progression of the two will eventually revolutionize the car industry soon.