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Israeli university researchers train goldfish how to drive

It turns out that these animals can navigate on land

The pole mounted LIDAR sensor detects the fish's position in the tank. SCREENSHOT FROM BGU

We’ve all seen memes of animals taking control of the steering wheel. And then, there’s Porter, the dog that was somehow trained to drive a modified Mini Countryman. But researchers at a university in Israel may have found another species that can be taught how to pilot a wheeled vehicle.

A team from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Tel Aviv recently found out that goldfish somehow have the innate ability navigate outside of their natural habitat. Six fish were trained to operate a basic vehicle, which was basically a small glass tank on wheels. This vehicle had LIDAR sensors that detected surrounding obstacles and the fish’s position inside the tank.

The fish learned how to control a vehicle just by swimming inside the tank. SCREENSHOTS FROM BGU

Speaking to Reuters, the researchers found out that it didn’t take long for the fish to learn how to drive. Confused at first, the test subjects were eventually able to figure out that their movements within the tank allowed them to reach their target. Each successful attempt was rewarded with food.

While this won’t be a sign that we’ll see Nemo and Dory pulling up next to us at a traffic light, the BGU team says that its research project has expanded its knowledge of the natural navigation skills of animals. It also proves the fish brains are not as primitive as we think.

Watch this goldfish drive

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.