Remote-Controlled Range Rover Lets You be Your Own Spotter
Forget self-driving cars. Jaguar Land Rover is showcasing a technology that allows users to control a Range Rover Sport via their smartphone.
With smartphone in hand, drivers can stand near the research vehicle and remotely control steering, acceleration, braking, and changing between high and low range four-wheel drive. The feature comes in handy in off-road situations, allowing the driver to be his or her own spotter. Controlling the car from outside lets you assess the feasibility of rock crawling maneuvers or double check approach and departure angles.
But it's also designed for urban uses, including those sticky situations when trying to reverse out of tight parking spots. The remote-controlled Range Rover Sport can even make 180-degree turns via smartphone commands, which is useful when encountering dead-end roads or those dreaded three-point turns. The system also includes a self-parking feature that takes over the task of steering, braking, reversing, and maneuvering into street parking spaces.
There are a few limitations, but reasonable ones at least. Drivers can only use the function while standing within roughly 32 feet from the vehicle. The top speed for remote maneuvers maxes out at 4 mph to ensure the safety of both the driver and the vehicle.
Of course, the technology serves to accelerate the future of autonomous cars. Beyond that, the automaker's goal is to help make autonomous cars viable in just about every driving environment and weather condition. To this end, Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of sensors with radar, LIDAR, cameras, ultrasonics, and structured light technology so future cars can operate autonomously in any situation. In the future, the automaker envisions the possibility of drivers giving the car commands from a handset, and allowing the vehicle to do the rest of the work from there.
We can't decide which technology is more intriguing: this remote-controlled Range Rover prototype or Jaguar's "mind reading" technology that monitors a driver's brainwaves to sense distraction. While we debate this question, watch the video below to see exactly how the special Range Rover works.
Source: Land Rover