One of the advantages of being flushed with cash for a car maker is that they can allow their engineers go mad and try things that, at least for the time being, classify as Science Fiction stuff. Here’s an example: JLR has just made a Range Rover Sport that can be driven remotely using a smartphone.
The Remote Control Range Rover Sport as they call it comes with app that allows the user to control the car’s steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range. Now, admittedly it is going to be difficult to drive a car using a touchscreen. But the mere fact that they have succeeded at creating such a thing is hugely impressive.
Mind you, you can’t sit on your sofa and drive this car using your phone to the shops. To drive this prototype Range Rover the driver has to be walking alongside it, which isn’t hard because in remote mode the car doesn’t exceed 4mph. The use of this technology, then, is currently limited to handing rough terrain, extreme off-roading, and parking maybe.
This is also a big deal as far as autonomous driving is concerned. The Remote Control Range Rover Sport features ‘Multi-Point Turn’ technology. It enables autonomous maneuvering through 180 degrees to turn the car in the road and point the car in the opposite direction. It uses advanced sensors and radars that make up the bulk of any autonomous vehicle’s control system. The main features of this Range Rover’s system include radar, LIDAR, cameras, ultrasonics and structured light technology.