Tech Burner has uploaded a video on his YouTube channel which shows Tata Harrier being driven by an Xbox controller. Before you ask, no, it’s not a magic trick. It is just the reality we live in these days. While something like this would’ve been incomprehensible just a decade ago, it has almost become a norm now. The reason is the massive number of electronic components in modern vehicles. Just a couple of decades ago, the number of electronics used in a car could be counted on the fingers. Now, the situation is completely opposite. There are hardly any mechanical components in a car that work without some form of electric aid. Apart from the differential, no part of the vehicle can operate independently without using electrical signals.
Making use of this technology, a group of engineers in Delhi decided to take on this ambitious project. The aim was to combine the knowledge of electrical and automobile engineers to come up with a simple way to operate a real car with an Xbox controller. As bizarre as it might sound, the electronic components are essentially the same overall. It is just a matter of programming the car’s electricals and attach the Xbox controller to the circuit. Let us see how they were able to achieve this feat.
Tata Harrier Driven By An Xbox Controller
In case you haven’t heard of the company known as Raspberry Pi, it makes credit-card-sized computers for various activities. This might include educational purposes, operating small machinery, projects, etc. Essentially, it is a small computer capable of using some processing power to perform all the basic functions of a regular computer. The YouTuber uses this technique and connects it to the ECU of the car. Now, the ECU of the car has all the calibrations and computing processes stored in it for various scenarios. ECU is the brain of the vehicle. All the data collected from the outside through sensors is processed through the ECU. It processes the real-time information and gives out the appropriate signal to the actuators. That is how all the electronic functions are processed in a vehicle.
The engineers were able to flash the Android Auto onto this Raspberry Pi chip and take control of the actions of the car. Then they connected this to the Xbox controller. Using Python as the coding language, they associated the basic functions of forward, reverse, steering characteristics and remote engine start/stop of the SUV to the controller. When they eventually tried all these functions, they were able to drive the Tata Harrier in their colony. They successfully reversed the SUV, steered it through the corners and parked it at its place. While all this was happening there was no one in the driver’s seat. The Tata Harrier driven by an Xbox controller is simply one example of what is possible in this modern age.