AUSTIN (KXAN) - It seems like there's an application for just about anything onan iPhone. But what about an application that would allow theiPhone to drive a car?
Some engineers at Austin-based National Instruments havecombined their love of remote control cars with iPhone technologyand rigged a car to be controlled by the phone.
"The iPhone has an accelerometer on it, which means it candetect rotational motion," said Will Schoettler, an applicationsengineer with National Instruments. "And so whenever you turn theiPhone, it sends a different signal. And then, we can use thesliders on the iPhone app to control the gas or the brake."
Wrenches hit the pedals, and a chain directs the steeringwheel.
"I think we might have gotten up to 25- or 30 mph one time,"said Schoettler. "We decided we want to keep it safe, so we usuallykeep it lower than that."
Of course, they use the word "safe" loosely.
"When we're driving with the iPhone, we like to drive it on theroof of the car. That seems to be the most fun, or the hood," saidSchoettler. "It gets the wind blowing in your hair. That's a lot offun."
It's been so much fun that their YouTube videohas gotten almost a half-million hits, and they said they hope thatothers will take their technology and run with it.
Watch their YouTube video below:
"What I'm really hoping for is that someone thinks this is areally great idea, picks up the plans and maybe turns it intosomething people can use in a standard industry," saidSchoettler.
It took the engineers four weeks to write the programming forthe technology. To download the plans, clickhere.
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