This Lincoln can be driven with a game controller

Autonomous driving technology interfaces with the car's existing computer

If you think sitting in the back seat of a full-size Lincoln MKZ and driving it with a game controller sounds like a dangerous proposition, you're right. It is. But that's just what's possible with a car brought to CES by Illinois-based AutonomouStuff.

The company works with automakers to outfit production cars with autonomous driving technology for use in research. It assembled the joystick-controlled Lincoln in just 10 days to prove how far such systems have come in the last few years.

The Lincoln is already a pretty sophisticated car, with drive-by-wire systems that electronically control most of the main functions of the car.

AutonomouStuff added two LIDAR sensors on the front bumper and a video camera.

The LIDAR sensors from Velodyne use a laser to scan in front of the car and produce a detailed 3D map of the surroundings. The camera from MobileEye provides an optical view in front of the car and can recognize lane markings and pedestrians.

Together, these provide the eyes required by a self-driving car system.

0107 autonomous stuff 1 Martyn Williams

A Lincoln MKZ modified by AutonomouStuff with additional LIDAR sensors on the front bumper, shown at CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2016.

The signals from the LIDAR sensors and camera are fed to a computer in the trunk, which connects the car's CAN (controller area network), the main vehicle control system.

0107 autonomous stuff 3 Martyn Williams

A computer in the trunk of a modified Lincoln MKZ runs the autonomous driving system

The car on show at CES wasn't self-driving, but it could have been with the right software on the computer, according to Tyler Painter, an applications engineer at the company.

So to demonstrate the technology, the company had a game controller that could be used to drive the car. The joysticks were used for steering, the directional pad for turn indicators and the buttons for shifting up and down through the gears.

The car wasn't driven far with the joystick, but AutonomouStuff did demonstrate that it works.

0107 autonomous stuff 4 Martyn Williams

This joystick can control a Lincoln MKZ modified by Autonomous Stuff.

So why bother? The car was made to show how sophisticated autonomous driving technology has become and how easily it can be connected together and interfaced into modern auto electronic control systems.

AutonomouStuff started when its founder, Bobby Hambrick, noticed robotics companies were having a hard time getting access to the automotive technology they wanted to test out autonomous driving technology. He formed the company as an integrator of auto car technology.

Today, AutonomouStuff works with automakers and universities to equip cars with advanced technology for use in their research.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CES 2016

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?