…Do you remember the scene from the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies,” when 007 escaped from almost certain death by using a remote-controlled BMW? Researchers at the German university [Germany’s Freie Universitat of Berlin] announced last week the release of an iPhone app that allows you to remotely control your car, operating the steering, brakes, and accelerator while watching the view out of your windscreen on your iPhone screen.
The signals from a tiny video camera placed on the dashboard allows the user to see a driver’s view out the windscreen, while the commands issued from the iPhone are transmitted by radio to a receiver installed in the car’s transmission, allowing the user to manipulate the vehicle from as far away as the fourth floor of a building.
Both the car, the remote software, and the transmitters were developed by the artificial intelligence group at the University, and according to Professor Raul Rojas, who heads up the team, that the ultimate goal of the project is a 100 percent autonomous car.
That makes sense considering that the car used in the project — dubbed “The Spirit of Berlin” — first made headlines back in 2007, when it was used to negotiate streets and highways without a driver at the wheel, using information from the on-board satellite navigation system, laser range sensors, and strategically placed video cameras.
Originally developed under grants from the Berlin Police Department, the Microsoft Academic Alliance, and IBM Deutschland, the Spirit of Berlin is able to recognize pedestrians, cars, motorcycles, and other road users, as well as red lights and traffic signs, and was accepted as an entry in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a race for robotic cars that takes place annually in California.
No firm release date has been announced on the IPhone apps store, though a spokesman for the University has said not to expect a release this year. …
via An app that 007 would approve of | CapeCodOnline.com.