Hackers Can Play Mario Kart With This Chevy Volt

  03/27/2017


These hackers took gaming to a whole new level. Mario Kart is a classic, and they made it even more fun when they hacked an actual Chevy Volt into a controller for Mario Kart 64.

What's better than mixing old-school gaming with modern, technologically advanced cars? Not much. Thanks to YouTuber Gordon Hlavinka who put up this video, we can see how his son Dan and friends Adam Ringwood and JP Smith mesh the two together. They like to call it the "most realistic car driving simulator ever." But we'll let you be the judge after you watch the video.

These guys are so good, in fact, they actually have won multiple prizes at HackIllinois 2016, which is a University of Illinois competition for hackers and backyard engineers. So they pretty much know what they're doing.

It's more complicated than this obviously, but basically, they hooked a Raspberry Pi mini-computer up to the Volt's OBD2 port. That allows the laptop to read the CAN BUS signals that come from the car's steering, brake sensors, and throttle. Once the laptop is plugged into the car and running the Mario Kart 64, the car becomes a controller. That includes the headlight switch and wiper switch, which give the player (or driver) Mario Kart's weapons throwing and speed boosting ability. And it's not just the Chevy Volt that can use this trick. Any newer car with sensors on all vehicle controls will work. They actually used a Honda CR-V to develop the kit then put it on the Chevy Volt to demonstrate it.
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