Jaguar Land Rover showcases remote control Range Rover Sport
Jaguar Land Rover has revealed some of the prototype technologies that its UK-based research team is developing, in order to deliver autonomous driving in the future.
The remote control Range Rover Sport research vehicle 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 4mph, to manoeuvre their car out of challenging situations safely, or even to negotiate difficult off-road terrain.
The driver could also use the smartphone to reverse the car out of a parking space if someone has parked too close for them to open the door, or allow the them to become their own off-road spotter, guiding the car over off-road obstacles from outside the vehicle.
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. The function 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 automatically stop the vehicle if the driver moves out of range or gets too close.
Future possibilities for this technology could include more autonomous functionality where the driver gives a simple command from the handset to traverse an obstacle or exit a parking space, and the car does the rest.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at 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.
"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."