Could Your Next Car Be Controlled By A Mobile Phone?

Tue 9th Oct 2018

Imagine being able to ‘drive’ your car without actually being behind the wheel, steering the vehicle using your mobile phone.

That’s the scenario developers at Ford motor company are looking at following their latest patent which was filed recently. The patent which was submitted in the US shows a car being controlled by a user tilting their phone left and right, like a normal steering wheel, but without a driver or passenger needing to be in the vehicle. Acceleration can be controlled by tilting the phone backwards and forwards.

Many smartphone driving games currently utilise these simple control mechanisms, and in 2015, Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated a video which looked into adding the remote controls to an actual car.

The benefits are thought to allow car owners to park their car in remote locations and then drive the car to them before actually entering the vehicle.

The controls will be connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which means that under current technology limitations there will be a short range to ability to drive. The safety of the driving will be aided by sensors which can check safe distances between others cars and pedestrians.

Ford’s patent states: “The display of a user device may depict, e.g. a virtual steering wheel, and the user of the user device may touch and move the virtual steering wheel relative to the user device.

“The user device can include programming to communicate the movement of the virtual steering wheel via the display.

“Accordingly, the user device can steer the host vehicle in a non-autonomous steering mode via the virtual steering wheel described above.

“The user device can include programming to communicate signals representing movement, rate of movement and an angle of the user device that results from moving the user device e.g. rotating the user device, tilting the user device.”