Most of us have fond memories of playing with remote control cars when we were kids. Even if we didn’t have them ourselves, we inevitably knew someone on the block who did. For many it was the first experience we had with driving a vehicle ourselves. We held the power in our hands and we could do anything we could imagine (battery life and the limitations of the toy notwithstanding). If only we could have the same kind of control over actual cars, kind of like Dr. Horrible’s invention to steal the Wonderflonium from a courier van in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.
Well, we might soon be able to do just that. Range Rover UK has developed a system and corresponding smart phone app that would allow users to control the functionality of the car through their phones. And not just simple things like unlocking the car and starting it. Someone could actually drive the car from his or her phone. Granted, the prototype has its limitations. The vehicle cannot exceed 4 miles per hour and the phone has to be within 10 feet of the vehicle, but many great things begin as something small.
The app lets users control the steering, accelerator and brakes, as well as change from high and low range gearing. The idea is that, at a maximum speed of 4mph, you can manoeuvre your car over difficult terrain in full view of rocks and obstacles rather than being in the cabin with limited visibility. But this system will work just as well for parking in tight spaces at the supermarket, of course.
The convenience of being able to maneuver a vehicle with 100% visibility is an alluring prospect. How often has a driver thought they had cleared a turn or didn’t see a potential hazard while on the road because of blind spots. This kind of technology would eliminate that eventuality entirely. I, for one, welcome our new robot car overlords. Bring on the remote control SUVs.
Born and raised in Orange County, I’m Just your average guy with delusions of grandeur. Part time poet and full time geek, my interest run the gamut from video games and sci fi movies to newly emerging tech and various Cons.