It’s not uncommon to hear of innovation in self-driving car technology. However, I think VIA Technologies are really onto something truly unique. They haven’t actually made a car, but they have hacked one quite a lot. Their self-driving control hub is literally an Android app. In this case, it was running on an HTC U12, but they said it was running on a Huawei just the day before in the same car.
Well, it’s literally an app, so it starts with that and uses the smartphone camera to read the road ahead of you. This then goes into the OBD2 port of the car. That’s the same port you can use to check status messages when running diagnostics. However, they’ve used the same port to take control of the electronic braking, acceleration, steering, etc. As I said, they’ve literally hacked the car. They used a Honda CRV, but said it works on other models with the same internal systems and algorithms. It can be programmed for other cars too though.
Uhm, yes and no. What it is in the current state is advanced cruise control. It will steer to keep you in the lane, and it will maintain the speed you had when you effectively let go of the wheel. On the app, you can see an orange box in the lane, so it’ll follow that. If you change lane, it’ll move the target and keep you there. It’s got a long way to go yet to become more autonomous. However, this is basically an alpha-test of sorts, a proof of concept. What’s impressive though is that we drove a good portion of our 45 min journey on the highway/motorway, and it worked flawlessly.
So it’s always on right now, at least while the app is loaded. You can feel it basically driving the car for you. However, manual inputs take priority and you maintain full control at all times. However, when you’re in lane and you can see the orange bar is extended on the app, and feel it taking basic control, you simply let go of the wheel and feet off the pedals. It’s basically a cruise control that’s always running.
Well, there’s a lot more testing to do, and no doubt they can add more cars, more features, etc. The software is king though, and they seem keen to make it open source and no doubt it’ll really kick-off and grow from then onwards. No doubt there are legal hurdles to cross too, but all great ideas have to start somewhere, and this one gets our full support because it works!
We just want to say a massive thank you to our sponsors for Computex 2019; EK, Taitra, Patriot, Corsair and Viper Gaming. We’ll be bringing you the latest products and news for all these brands and many more while we’re in Taiwan. Check out our Computex 2019 event page for the latest!
Sony yesterday confirmed that another former PlayStation exclusive was coming to the PC. Yes, Days…