Lately Jaguar Land Rover has been talking about using some pretty cool technologies on future vehicles, like the “transparent” hood and heads-up display that uses the entire windshield. The company’s research team has delivered once again, this time previewing a new autonomous drive technology that works with the owner’s cell phone.
To demonstrate how everything works, the company created the Remote Control Range Rover Sport. It requires installing a special app on the smartphone. The interface provides control over steering, acceleration, braking and transitioning between high and low range.
Before you get any big ideas, know that the British automaker has built in some safety features. With the app, the SUV can only travel up to 4 mph, so there won’t be doing any races with the remote control vehicle.
There are so many applications where the technology would be more than just cool, but would provide a real solution to a difficult problem. For example, if a person were driving on a particularly challenging trail. In an especially tough area, the driver could get out of the SUV and maneuver the vehicle while having the benefit of seeing everything from the exterior instead of from behind the wheel, acting as a spotter and the driver at the same time.
You could use the technology to get into and out of tight parking stalls, or even to mimic a valet service. Of course, the feature only works when the phone is within about 30 feet of the vehicle. In future iterations the app might allow for more freedom.
Jaguar Land Rover is also working on a Multi-Point Turn technology that would allow a vehicle to turn itself around safely in tight areas. It would take the stress and guesswork out of situations like getting out of a dead end in a road or threading through tight parking garages. So far, the system hasn’t been tested in real-world scenarios, but that’s coming up soon.