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Exclusive How-to Guide: Controlling Cars from Smartphones

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Nokia C7 BMW car controlPhoneRPT has been tipped on a practice used by most automobile manufacturers whereby multiple cars are controlled by smartphones, in order to move them around in large-scale factories – this feature can be used on any phones released after 2010 and is compatible with cars released after 2009.

Read on for our guide below

This has been previously achieved by means of custom programming (video below), but that is no longer necessary since the tools are built-in cars.

Users will be able to connect to their cars and drive them around with a technique similar to Fly-by-wire. Every car built after 2009 has a 825MHz radio frequency transmitter that sends and receives TCP packets from phones, which also happen to have this frequency supported on their chips.

The following guide explains how to prepare the cars for connection. There are instructions for both manual and automatic-transmission cars. We are not responsible for any damage caused to readers’ cars, but these are the steps that factories take to move more than a thousand cars simultaneously.

For manual cars:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery connector
  2. Ensure that the handbrake is up
  3. With one foot pressing the clutch pedal, insert the gear in reverse
  4. Flip indicator to right signal
  5. Lock passenger’s seat belt in – no weight must be placed on passenger seat as the sensor will void the connection
  6. Place the radio in 82.50MHz FM – although a radio station might be tuned, this signals the car to connect to the frequency of 825.00MHz.
  7. Connect the negative battery connector as it was.

For automatic cars:

  1. Disconnect the negative and positive battery connectors
  2. Ensure that the handbrake is up
  3. Pull the seat lever down and push the driver’s seat to the back
  4. Flip indicator to right signal
  5. Lock passenger’s seat belt in – no weight must be placed on passenger seat as the sensor will void the connection
  6. Place the radio in 82.50MHz FM Рalthough a radio station might be tuned, this signals the car to connect to the frequency of 825.00MHz.
  7. Connect the negative and positive battery connectors as they were.

Now it’s time to get to the smartphone part. We have secured the Nokia N900 installation file for this purpose. The N900 was released in 2009 so it was used for alpha and beta testing. Its open-source software allowed programmers to customize the drivers in the Linux kernel to automatically tap into the 825MHz frequency.

Car Controller screenshot

The installation file can be downloaded from here. There are no steps to run, the user interface is pretty simple, and when we get hold of installation files for other platforms (Bada, iOS, Android, etc.), we will post them here. To those who own the N900, please test this and let us know how it is working by commenting below.

Please follow this link to check if your car is supported.

 

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Apr 1st, 2012 GMT +2

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