Automobiles

Drive your car from your iPhone

Yesterday, we found an iPhone app that can start your car remotely. Today, we take a look at a German university that's built a car that can be driven via your iPhone.

Yesterday, we found an iPhone app that can start your car remotely. Today, we take a look at a German university that's built a car that can be driven via your iPhone.

The car is a modified Dodge Caravan that's the basis for the Spirit of Berlin autonomous car project run by the AI group at the Free University of Berlin.

When this Dodge Caravan was bought in the US it had already been modified to allow a handicapped person to drive with a lever that actuated the brake and accelerator pedals. The Spirit of Berlin team then fitted it out with video cameras, 3D laser sensors, GPS, Wi-Fi, a drive-by-wire system and a whole bunch of smarts in order for it to participate in DARPA's Urban Challenge for robotic cars.

In the video below, this Dodge is driven via an iPhone app utilising a Wi-Fi data connection. The buttons labelled gas and brake operate those pedals mechanically, while steering is done by pressing and holding down the steering wheel button, and then spinning the phone around. A video image is also streamed from the car to the phone, so you can see where its heading.

It's not quite like James Bond's remote control BMW 7-Series from Tomorrow Never Dies, though, as the Dodge seems to be speed limited, despite running on an airport runway.


Stick with the video until the end for a very special surprise.