Would you like to have a car that drives itself? While Teslas can do this now to some extent and they, along with other auto manufactures, creep closer to this goal every day. But what if you want to make a driverless vehicle yourself? While Ken Macken has not quite accomplished this task, he has outfitted a 1991 Honda Civic with all the accouterments needed to steer it with an RC-style remote.
As documented here, Macken’s vehicle uses a linear actuator for the gear selector and the brakes, as well as a high-torque servo to control the throttle. An electronic power steering module, normally used to assist drivers rotating the steering wheel, is used to actually turn the vehicle right and left. A variety of other components, including an RC transmitter and an Arduino Uno for control integration, enable Macken to drive his vehicle from afar.
As seen in the video below, it does work quite well, navigating an unpopulated area with ease. If you’re not suspecting it, a fun surprise comes just after 1:00, where the car stops, then puts itself in reverse and backs up, all without a human inside.
If you’re wondering what the point is without actual autonomous operation, Macken is, in fact, working on it. The experimental setup is shown in the second video, attempting to follow GPS waypoints with the distinguished “Professor Wolf” at the helm.