Who’s driving this car? The guy with the iPhone, dude.

Team Berlin’s effort is nice work, adding an app from Appirion UG to a DARPA Urban Challenge vehicle, via POPSCI:

The team developed its iDriver app to manage the highly modified "Spirit of Berlin" autonomous vehicle using WiFi and the smartphone’s controls. The unit’s accelerometer controls steering, accomplished at hand by turning the device, while screen buttons control braking and acceleration. The system also sends a live video stream of the road ahead to the iPhone screen.

The van can also drive itself, by way of technologies developed for the 2007 DARPA Urban Grand Challenge autonomous vehicle race (the van was their entry). Packed inside are a stack of IBM Blade servers, video cameras, 3D laser sensors and GPS for positioning, as well as the drive-by-wire system that enables the iDriver app’s functionality. In one experiment, a team member reportedly sat on the roof rack and steered the vehicle from above.

Yeah, there’s a video, nicely done…


Nifty rocket science. Is there anything an iPhone can’t do?