Japanese automotive giant Nissan is an industry leader when it comes to interesting and unusual technology, but it's really gone the extra mile this time. To celebrate the release of Gran Turismo Sport on October 18, the company turned its all-wheel-drive GT-R into a life-size RC car that’s controlled by a PlayStation DualShock 4.
The company used servomotors and robotics so the steering, acceleration, braking, and transmission of the car — based on a 2011 Nissan R35 GT-R — could be controlled remotely. Six onboard computers were able to update the controls 100 times per second, and the car had a wireless range of just over half a mile.
British racing driver Jann Mardenborough, who was the third and youngest winner of GT Academy in 2011, took the GT-R /C for a spin around Silverstone race track in the UK. He was flown behind the car at low altitude in a helicopter throughout, which made controlling the supercar easier.
The GT-R /C managed an impressive average speed of 76 mph and topped out at 131 mph – drivers behind the wheel of non-RC cars usually average around 83mph on the circuit. The low-flying chopper reportedly had trouble keeping up with the 542bhp vehicle, but there were two independent safety systems in place that would have stopped the GT-R /C if Mardenborough lost control at any point.
"This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff. The GT-R /C has brought my two worlds together – the virtual of gaming and the reality of motorsport – in a way I never thought possible,” said Mardenborough. "The response from the car when using the controller was far more engaging than I thought it would be. Driving a full-size, remote-control GT-R to 131mph at Silverstone whilst chasing it down in a helicopter was an unforgettable experience."