• Engineering grad sharpens skills by modding car to run on iPhone app

    When Apple’s iPhone commercials say “There’s an app for that,” it seems they’re not kidding. From gaming to business, it seems there really is an application for everything — including one that can drive a car.

    Recent Baylor graduate Hunter Smith (BS ’08) is part of a small team of engineers from Austin-based National Instruments that has made headlines recently for designing, yes, a system that uses an iPhone app to pilot a late ’80s Buick. The app controls steering, the gas pedal, brakes — everything you need to drive a car. Their work, and the accompanying video (below), has been covered by mainstream outlets like CNN.com and BBC Radio as well as tech-focused sites like CNET, Gizmodo, Wired UK and CrunchGear.

    Of course, the big question is: Why design a car to be controlled via iPhone? The engineers, who collectively go by the name of Waterloo Labs, simply enjoy testing the limits of their own abilities while having fun with do-it-yourself-type projects — an admirable (and enjoyable!) way of sharpening their engineering skills, including what Smith learned right here at Baylor.

    Sic ’em, Hunter!

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