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Driving a Car With an iPhone

Engineers hacked an Oldsmobile Delta 88 to remote control it with an iPhone

1 min read
Driving a Car With an iPhone

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DIY enthusiasts have used their iPhones to remote control all sorts of contraptions -- LEGO robots, RC cars and helicopters, even an R2-D2 replica. But this is the first time I see a car -- a real car. A group of engineers at National Instruments -- they call themselves Waterloo Labs -- have transformed an Oldsmobile Delta 88 into a remote controlled car that they can drive using an iPhone app. In the video they give an overview of how they did their hack in just a few weeks. The control system uses a few motors, potentiometers, a NI Compact RIO embedded controller, and LabVIEW. The iPhone talks with the controller via Wi-Fi. Neat. Check out their site for more videos and technical details.

Thanks, Trisha!

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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

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EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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