With computers everywhere providing instantaneous control of our files, our businesses and our homes, it was only a matter of time before they began controlling our cars too. Automakers have already begun creating apps and programs for their new vehicles that can allow you to set the interior temperature or, in the case of electric cars, tell it when to charge.
But now a group of German scientists have created a system that not only tells the car where you are, but can bring the car to you. Called “MadeInGermany” (MIG), the system allows a driver to ping the car from a GPS-enabled phone or computer; the car then calculates the quickest route to its driver, and pilots itself there using a suite of sensors that read the road and construct a 3-D image of what’s ahead in order to react to both moving and stationary obstacles.
In addition to the “Come here, boy!” application, the system could allow anyone with an iPad or similar mobile multimedia device to control the car’s systems remotely—presumably, sparing you the seconds it would take to open the door, adjust the seat and set the radio once the car arrives. The driver could even activate a manual override and pilot the car through his or her smartphone, once again proving James Bond has a license to precognate, too.
Still, we can see a couple problems with the system.* First of all (and Germans should know this), forgetting where you parked is nature’s own defense against drunk driving—if you’ve knocked back enough beers that you can’t remember where you put your second-most-expensive possession, you certainly shouldn’t be driving it. Even if the car can drive itself home, though, here in America walking to and from the car is one of the only times a large segment of the population ever gets any exercise. Get rid of that, you might as well sign a few thousand obesity-related death warrants a year. [via Canoe]
*Though having a car that pulls up in front of the restaurant, opens its own door for your date and already has Miles Davis playing would totally get you laid.