Good news for all those who have ever wanted to drive your car using a remote control (and let’s face it, after James Bond did it in Tomorrow Never Dies, who wouldn’t?).
Researchers at Jaguar Land Rover (that’s a whole team of Qs) have created the world’s first genuine full-size car that can be operated by a driver using a smartphone outside the vehicle.
The technologies can apparently work in “all weathers and all environments”, and the prototype is so sophisticated that it can perform a 180-degree turn in the road
The smartphone app includes control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range.
“The driver could 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 driver to become their own off-road spotter, to guide the car over off-road obstacles from outside the vehicle,” Jaguar Land Rover said.
There is no word on whether the car will be able to shake off a group of heavily armed Bond villains, although the car giant does say it will allow a driver to “manoeuvre their car out of challenging situations safely” - albeit at a maximum speed of four miles per hour.
Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “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.”
He added: "We know our customers drive in heavy rain, and snow, and bright desert sunshine every day. We are working on an array of new sensors that would enable a car to operate in any environment, without any outside intervention or input from lane markings or roadside infrastructure like traffic lights. Our research engineers have a nickname for a car with this level of capability: the ‘Solo Car’.”
Here's how James Bond did it back in 1997...