Autonomous vehicles are an inevitability at this point, but no one seems to talk about remote controlled cars. Sure, it seems like handing someone the remote to a full-size vehicle capable of injuring somebody or worse is a bad idea, but Land Rover’s UK-based research team thinks there could be more than a few practical uses for it.
The team has developed remote controlled Range Rover Sport prototypes which are controlled through a special application support by a smartphone. The app gives the user full control over the vehicle’s of steering, accelerator and brakes and allows them to change between high and low range on the gearbox. They’ve also addressed the aforementioned worry about the system being dangerous by limiting the car to a max speed of 4 mph in remote mode.
So what could this actually be used for? Well, if you’ve ever been off roading or taken a vehicle where it probably shouldn’t be, you know you usually need a spotter to tell you if you’re about scrap a tree or run over a rock, for example. Being able to climb out of the car and control it would solve this issue. A more real world use for the app would be maneuvering in and out of tight parking spaces, which would be supported by a self-parking system in the car.
Speaking of self-driving, Land Rover also have another autonomous driving feature in the works at their UK research base. Their ‘Multi Point Turn’ prototype is able to completely turn itself around 180 degrees by completing multi-point turns and is working on a supplementary system which would inform the driver when it’s safe to perform the turn. This system requires advanced sensing technology, which is also being worked on at its research hub in addition to radar, LIDAR, cameras, ultrasonics and structured light technology.