Driving Udacity car simulator with home made steering wheel (!)

OK, its really a bar than a wheel-

I took an old servo motor and attached a wooden bar and removed all circuitry keeping the variable resistor. Then measured the position of the wheel using an arduino and sending that data to PC using serial port.
The middle pin of variable resistor is attached to A0 pin of the arduino and other two pins are attached to ground and +5v. This is creating a voltage divider and the measurement ranges from 0 to 1024. The measurement of 512 is received when the steering position is straight ahead.

The code

Here is arduino code that reads analog input from A0 and send the value to serial port. The code is adapted from Arduino IDE Analog sketch demo with minor changes.
int sensorPin = A0;    // select the input pin for the potentiometer
int sensorValue = 0;  // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
int newSensorValue = 0;
void setup() {

void loop() {  
  // read the value from the sensor:
  newSensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
  if(abs(newSensorValue - sensorValue) > 5){
    sensorValue = newSensorValue;

Here is python code that reads the data from arduino serial port and update angle variable. This angle is that is being sent to the simulator:
import serial
from time import sleep
import threading

port = "/dev/ttyACM1"
ser = serial.Serial(port, 9600)
angle = 0.0

def read_steering_angle():
    print("Monitoring steering angle")
    global angle
    while True:
        data = ser.readline()
        if len(data) > 0:
            #print('Got serial data:', data)

            angle = float(int(data) - 512) / 50.0

    return angle

t = threading.Thread(target=read_steering_angle)
t.daemon = True

while True:


Here is how I am driving using the steering.

Here is screen capture of driving with the steering.

Student registration reached 365 in less than a week

As I have posted previously, I asked students to register for Autonomous Vehicle course and within less than a week we have 365 registration...