Remote-control Range Rover can be driven with a smartphone app

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The app lets you start the car, and control steering, throttle and brakes up to a maximum of 4mph.(Credit: Jaguar Land Rover)

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High end cars are creeping towards full autonomy, unlocking new abilities every generation that allow them to drive themselves under certain conditions. Now, using the sensors and hardware that let the car park itself, Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated a very nifty remote control app that lets you get out of your car, stand beside it and drive it using your smartphone. It's an incredibly handy way to get this huge thing in and out of tight parking spots, or negotiate particularly rough terrain while keeping an eye on what's happening. You can literally be your own spotter.

The prototype smartphone app lets you start the car and control the brakes, throttle and steering, as well as gearshifts. The car will go a maximum 4 mph (6 km/h) in remote pilot mode, but it'll stop if the smartphone or the car key get more than 10 meters (33 ft) from the vehicle. It's unclear whether the car's collision avoidance sensors will stop you from running it into a pole.

A second prototype was revealed that can do its own 180-degree multi-point turn if you're in a narrow street that won't let you do a proper U-turn. The car uses its ultrasonic sensors to look for hazards in the environment, and then autonomously executes an about-turn in as many steps as is necessary, from a simple 3-point turn to… well, presumably to one of these.

Check out both new systems in the video below.

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