Remote Control Off-Roading? The New Land Rover Defender Could Offer It Soon

Smart technology could help Defenders clear off-road obstacles with ease—with the driver outside the car.

Land Rover Defender Gear Patrol-Exterior Action-Slide-10

Unlike its simple, agricultural-ready predecessor, the new Land Rover Defender will come with plenty of modern-day smart features and functions when it finally arrives next year. This will permit the car to receive over-the-air software updates, and enable many other high-tech features. And believe it or not, one of those features — eventually — could be operating the vehicle via remote control.

At the product reveal for the new Defender, Land Rover’s chief product engineer Stuart Frith told News.com.au that remote control technology was “a good idea.” He described the Defender as “capable to do that in terms of its architecture.”

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Remote control technology would be an excellent add-on for off-roading and overlanding. It would allow the driver to serve as his or her own spotter when clearing particularly tricky obstacles. The technology could potentially incorporate Land Rover’s Activity Key wearable to ensure the driver is within eyesight of the vehicle.

It wouldn’t be the easiest thing to pull off, though. As per Frith, the chief hurdle to implementing remote control technology for a production Land Rover will be getting legislative approval for it. Having the driver operate the vehicle remotely raises more regulatory issues than the self-parking technology currently available on some cars. Still, here’s hoping, right?

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