Gitex 2021: Mind-controlled car inspired by hit movie 'Avatar' draws crowds in Dubai

Much of the interior has been designed using plastic pollution fished out from the ocean

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A concept car inspired by blockbuster movie Avatar has proved to be a real crowd puller at this year’s Gitex.

In true form, the week-long event has delivered when it comes to the latest innovations in technology, including a mind-controlled car.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision Avtr comes with a Brain-Computer-Interface device that the driver has to wear when inside the vehicle.

Eventually, when the technology is tried, tested and tweaked, it will be able to read and record the driver’s brainwaves to start, stop and drive the vehicle.

There is a deeper story to the vibrant design too.

“This concept car design came about in collaboration with the Avatar movie team and the director, James Cameron,” said Klaus Millerferli from Mercedes Benz.

“The key message of the first Avatar movie was that people should live in harmony with nature. Mercedes is working towards changing from combustion motors to fully-electric powered cars, so we are in the same mind-set.

Mercedes Vision Avtr car on display at Etisalat stand at Gitex Technology Week. Photo by Leslie Pableo / The National

“It has been designed as a stretched single-bow, in that the exterior flows seamlessly into the interior, so it is all in harmony together.”

Teams have worked together on the design and concept for two years. With no visible steering wheel, the end goal is to have a fully operational, mind-controlled car.

Much of the interior has been designed using plastic pollution fished out from the ocean, including the backs of the seats and the centre console.

“The tyres here, you can see they are very large,” said Mr Millerferli.

“That plays into the sustainable design. Normal tyres on cars create wear and tear on roads because they are small and high pressured.

"Here, we designed larger wheels with lower air pressure, meaning less damage to road surfaces.”

Other sustainable materials have also been used inside the car including vegan Dinamica leather made from recycled materials and liana for the floor, which is a long-stemmed, woody vine.

The car will be on display at the Etisalat stand throughout the event, with the UAE only the third country it has been exhibited in.

In pictures - Gitex

Updated: October 19, 2021, 5:29 AM