Jaguar Land Rover has developed a prototype system that allows drivers to control their Range Rover Sport with their smartphone. As part of the company's autonomous driving program, this research vehicle-version of the Sport and paired app have the ability to start the car, lock the doors, steer the car, and control the acceleration and brakes.
The demo video above shows how the new smartphone-control system would allow a driver to guide the vehicle through rock crawling, stream crossings, and technical terrain (or a tricky parallel parking situation) without anyone behind the wheel. You can maintain remote control of the car walking alongside it for up to a maximum of 4 mph and within 30 feet. If the driver moves out of range or comes too close, the system will stop the vehicle.
All of this technology makes us wonder if Range Rover got their inspiration from James Bond. The prototype seems to be slower, all-terrain version of 007's smartphone-controlled BMW from Tomorrow Never Dies. Jaguar Land Rover is also working on a less spy-savvy technology that detects potholes and avoids them before drivers hit them. That feature may be available before the smartphone-control app, which is reportedly not going to be available before 2020.