In 007: Tomorrow Never Dies, there's a scene where James Bond whips out his cellphone and uses it to drive his BMW away from the baddies. We still don't have cellphone-controlled vehicles (toy cars yes, real cars no), but this mod from a group of Russian hackers that uses an iPad 3 to control an old Opel Vectra car might be the next best thing.
According to a blog post by one of the project's team members (translated by Red Hot Russia), the idea to create an iPad-controlled car mod started after they had already figured out how to drive toy R/C cars over the Internet.
The team went ahead and bought a 1990 Opel Vectra that was on the verge of being completely dead and got to modding. After the first initial failure, the team added a "more powerful motor to [the car's] steering wheel and better actuator to the brakes" and a gear shift to really get the car going. The result of their labor is a universal solution that could be sold as a kit one day and hooked up to any car:
"There are many such projects of the remotely operated vehicles, but usually people connect to the steering rack and the brakes directly. We, however, chose a closer to reality approach, in which one needs to turn the wheel and press the pedal for real (without connecting to the “electronic brain”) and thus provide a universal solution. Now the whole system can be transferred to any automobile as long as it has an automatic transmission (and the automatic transmission selector is — not zigzag)."
As you can see in the video below, the modded car is rigged up to an iPad through a custom app with a steering wheel "analog" and buttons for the gas and brake. It's not going to go at max speed, but it works pretty well for short-range movement. Two tests have been conducted so far, but the cold weather is hindering more tests, so it looks like we'll have to keep an eye on this project when the weather gets warmer. The fellas also plan to develop a way to control the car via the Internet, which was their original goal.