McLaren is showing off the race car of the future with its new MP4-X and it makes some pretty insane claims about it.
The British automaker says that the technology in use here is all real and plausible, although most of it is in the earliest stages of development. McLaren built the car to show off some of the technology that it envisions in F1 racing in the future. Here are some of the craziest claims McLaren makes about its futuristic race car:
1. You Can Control it with your MIND
Forget about a steering wheel, this McLaren concept is controlled by brain power, gesture controls and a holographic instrument panel. Although this seems far fetched, McLaren calls this technology “theoretically possible,” and is currently developing it to help understand neurological diseases.
2. It Can be Powered by the Sun
For power, a set of “thin batteries” are incorporated into the crash structure that store the energy needed to power its electric motors. Both solar panels and a new energy recovery system will help to collect power, while McLaren says that the MP4-X can receive power through inductive charging included in the race track, a new sustainable way of racing that McLaren sees in the future.
3. It’s a Shape Shifter!
To optimize its aerodynamics, the car’s bodywork is made of shape-shifting memory alloys, allowing for added downforce in the corners and less in the straights. Beyond shape-shifting, the car also features powerfully charged electrodes that can turn the air around aerodynamic bits into plasma in the corners. We’re not sure what that means, but it sure sounds cool (and impossible).
McLaren even sees the MP4-X as the future of race advertising, as the car features a complex digital billboard that will feature targeted ads, meaning the car will appear different to everyone who views it.
4. Its Body is Self-Repairing
For safety purposes, a canopy is included on the car to help protect the driver, while the monocoque body is made of “negative stiffness” material structures that are able to recover their shape after an impact. A diagnostics system that monitors the car’s structural condition will also be on board.
5. The Tires Can Adjust Themselves
The tires on the MP4-X have also been improved thanks to sensors that allow engineers to live-monitor crucial data that would help them prevent a blow out. On onboard pressure regulator is also able to adjust tire pressure on the go, so it is always at optimal levels.
6. Drivers Will Have Augmented Reality in their Helmets
Plenty of technology is installed to help the driver as well. A 360-degree view would be available to each driver thanks to augmented vision tech fed straight into their helmets, while a head-up display would deliver additional data on which drivers are closets, flag status and collisions or debris on the racetrack.
The driver’s body is closely monitored by biotelemetry, while new advanced fabric race suits are capable of showing paramedics and early responders where the driver is injured.