Imagine being able to control your car with your smartphone. Well, Land Rover is showing off technology that allows you to do just that. It’s come up with a prototype Range Rover Sport that’s basically a life-sized RC that you control via a smartphone app. It’s one of the new self-driving technologies the automaker is developing, only this one has driver outside the vehicle, instead of inside.
Land Rover demonstrates the tech in the video below. It shows a driver steering and driving the car, at a maximum speed of 4 mph, all from standing outside the vehicle simply by using their smartphone.
So why would you ever need to do this? Well, aside from being just plain cool, the automaker suggests that such capability would allow a driver to get out of the car, check out any tight situations and maneuver their car out them safely. Plus, who hasn’t been sandwiched between two vehicles where you couldn’t open the door. The driver could simply use the smartphone to back the car out without having to open the door.
There’s more technology where this came from, too. The prototype Range Rover Sport can also do a 180 degree turn – autonomously. This would come in handy, say, if you needed to point the vehicle in the opposite direction on a dead-end road. The system uses sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects. The car takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to get you turned around.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said:”Getting a car out of a tricky parking maneuver can be a stressful experience for any driver. 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. 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.”
No word yet on when a prototype app like this could actually make it out into the real world, but we’ll be waiting.