Smartphones taking over the driving?

We’ve had quite a bit recently about autonomous or ‘piloted’ vehicles – basically cars that drive themselves – but this intrigued me because it is a different angle on a similar subject.

Smartphone driving technology

Jaguar Land Rover has been working towards autonomous driving technologies that could not only work on the road, but also off road. In short, systems that would let self driving cars go anywhere.

One interesting spin-off from this research is the prototype Range Rover Sport that can be controlled by the driver, from outside the vehicle, using a smartphone.

If you have ever been on an off-road course, you will know how sometimes – isolated up there in the cabin – no matter how you crane your neck, you can’t see the detail of rocks and other obstructions that might lie in the way of your vehicle. Inevitably you stop and get out to look, then move a few feet forward, before stopping and getting out again.

Most Land Rover models now have the option of strategically placed cameras so that you can check for obstructions on the vehicles flanks. The company is also known to be working on a “transparent” bonnet, so that you will be able to see what is immediately in front of the vehicle.

But there are times when the going gets so rough there is no substitute for being able to walk along beside the car and check ramp, approach and departure angles and o view and judge the precise positioning of the vehicle on a section of rock crawling.

With the remote smartphone control the intention is that this will become possible. The driver will be able to get out of the vehicle to see the obstructions clearly and control the vehicle precisely using their smartphone.

It could also prove useful in car parks where other vehicles haven’t left you enough room to get in or out!
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