Among the various technologies that Jaguar Land Rover is developing to enable autonomous driving in the future is a remote controlled Range Rover Sport. It's not just a model, like your kids might find under the Christmas tree. It's the real thing!
The Remote Control Range Rover Sport research vehicle can be controlled by the driver from outside the vehicle using a smartphone.
The smartphone app permits control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range.
This capability allows the driver to walk alongside the vehicle, at speeds of up to 6 km/h, to maneuver the vehicle safely out of challenging situations or negotiate difficult off-road terrain.
Off-road, the driver could become his or her own spotter, guiding the vehicle over difficult obstacles from the outside and precisely positioning it for rock crawling. It could also aid in traversing sections made slippery by mud or snow.
A driver could also use the smartphone to reverse the Range Rover Sport out of a parking space if someone parked too close to permit access.
The remote control function will operate if the user is within 10 metres of the vehicle 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.
JLR says future possibilities for this technology could include more autonomous capability where the driver gives a simple command from the handset to traverse an obstacle or exit a parking space, and the vehicle does the rest.