Fancy a remote controlled Land Rover?
Gone are the days when remote controlled vehicles were bought by children under the age of twelve at popular toy stores. Today, they wear a Range Rover badge, get controlled through smart phones and cost as my aunt would say, an arm and a leg.
Jaguar Land Rover’s UK-based research team are busy tinkering with prototype technologies and their prototype model demonstrates how a driver could drive the vehicle from outside the car via their smartphone. The smartphone app includes control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range. This would allow the driver to walk alongside the car, at a maximum speed of 6 kph, to manoeuvre their car out of challenging situations safely, or even to negotiate difficult off-road terrain.
By walking alongside the car, the driver could continually check ramp, approach and departure angles and allow precise positioning of the vehicle when rock crawling. It could also be an invaluable aid when the vehicle is fording a stream or traversing sections made slippery by mud or snow. The remote control function will only operate if the user is within 10 metres of the car and if the smart key can be detected. The system will stop the vehicle if the driver moves out of range or gets too close.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Getting a car out of a tricky parking manoeuvre 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.