Land Rover has devised a novel way to show off some of its latest technology, by transforming a Range Rover Sport into a giant remote control car.
Designed as a display of its latest autonomous driving systems, Land Rover says that the unique research vehicle shows how a driver could drive their vehicle from outside it with a smartphone.
Based around special app, drivers can control steering, brakes and speed up to a maximum of 4mph to manoeuvre the car out of tough situations safely or to negotiate around difficult off-road terrain.
Drivers can control the car via smartphone app
As well as that, drivers could also use the app to reverse their cars out of parking spaces if another motorist has parked too close to them to open the doors in order to get in.
The remote control function is only able to be used if the driver is within 10 metres of the car, and the vehicle will automatically stop itself if the driver either moves out of range or gets too close.
Land Rover says that the long-term aim is a future where drivers could simply command their cars to overcome obstacles or exit parking spaces on their own, blending autonomous technology with regular driving.
The custom Range Rover Sport used for the experiment is capable of manoeuvring itself 180 degrees to point in the opposite direction, meaning that it’s able to get itself out of difficult situations like dead-end roads.
Using an array of sensors to assess space and objects around the cars, the system takes over the gearing, steering and braking to make as many minute movements necessary to get itself around.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, said: “Getting a car out of a tricky parking manoeuvre can be a stressful experience for any driver.
Designed to improve safety and accessibility
“A Remote Control car, or a vehicle that can autonomously turn in the road, demonstrates how we could use these new technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.”
“Research into technologies like these won’t only help us deliver an autonomous car. They will help make real driving safer and more enjoyable,” he added.
“The same sensors and systems that will help an autonomous car make the right decisions, will assist the driver and enhance the experience to help prevent accidents. Autonomous car technologies will not take away the fun of driving.”