Nissan unleashes the ultimate radio-control auto

Posted October 12, 2017

What's more, it's a completely remote-controlled GT-R-renamed the GT-R/C-as demonstrated by Nissan racing driver Jann Mardenborough, who drove the vehicle around the Silverstone racing circuit from the passenger seat of a helicopter circling above.

Its latest stunt is the ideal cross-over between real life and video games, though - the company hooked up a GT-R with servomotors and robotics to control steering, acceleration, braking and gearshifts, and then made all that run through a PlayStation 4 controller. It's not a virtual vehicle for the game, but rather a real-life GT-R that can hit 131 miles per hour on the Silverstone Circuit while being driven by a Playstation controller.

The choice of Mardenborough as the driver is an obvious one, as he was one of the first winners of the Nissan Playstation GT Academy, a competition that's been turning gamers into professional racing drivers since 2008. And all this via unmodified DualShock4 gaming controller that connects to a micro-computer interpreting the joystick and button signals and transmiting them to the GT-R /C's onboard systems. With the controller connected to a micro-computer transmitting signals from the controller's buttons and joysticks to the car's onboard systems, Mardenborough reached speeds of up to 131 miles per hour while zipping around the track.

The only other gadget for Jann was a LCD display mounted the helicopter's cockpit to show the car's speed. Damn right. Most of us will never have the opportunity to drive it, but we can play Gran Turismo Sport when it drops for the PS4 on October 17th in the USA, October 18th in Europe and Australia and October 19th in Japan. Four robots inside the auto controlled the steering, transmission, throttle and brakes. Six computers also connected everything together and were able to make adjustments up to 100 times per second. Mardenborough became a racecar driver after winning the GT Academy program, which gives virtual racers the chance to compete for a spot as a real-world racing driver.

"This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff", Mardenborough said. JLB Design has done an incredible job at making everything respond really well.

A one-off Nissan GT-R has been created that is remotely controlled by a Sony PlayStation 4 controller. "Now that's innovation that excites!"

In 2018, the Nissan GT-R /C will be used in a tour of primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom to promote future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.