Nissan unleashes the ultimate radio-control vehicle

Yolanda Curtis
October 11, 2017

Modifications for the lap included four robotic devices for operating steering, transmission, brakes, and throttle. Rather than standard Bluetooth, these instructions were sent via a wireless system with a range of 1 km (0.6 mi) to six computers mounted in the rear of the vehicle that updated the robots' movements up to 100 times a second.

GT Academy grad who is now one of Nissan's fastest factory Super GT hotshoes Jann Mardenborough used the PlayStation controller from a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter overhead to drive the vehicle, which Nissan deemed the GT-R/C-as in "remote control". On his fastest lap that lasted one minute 17.47 seconds, the vehicle reached 131 miles per hour and averaged 76 miles per hour. This, according to Nissan, is just 7mph short of the average speed recorded when a driver is behind the wheel. 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.

Steering, acceleration, and braking were all intelligently configured, allowing for controlled application so I could really get a feel through the corners and hold it steady down the fast straights.. Extensively modified to be driven entirely by a DualShock 4 controller, the GT-R /C was put through its paces by NISMO athlete and GT Academy victor Jann Mardenborough around Silverstone.

Mardenborough, 26, sat in the cockpit of a helicopter as he tailed the Nissan GT-R around the home of racing on the Bucks and Northamptonshire border.

The stunt was put together to mark the release of Gran Turismo Sport, out on October 18 on PS4. In other words, Mardenborough has plenty of experience piloting a GT-R with a PlayStation controller, though until now it was always with a virtual version of the auto, instead of the real thing.

Nissan says the car's performance is not restricted by the radio controls so in the right conditions it is capable of a staggering 196mph - with no one in the driver's seat. Mardenborough controlled the GT-R /C from the cockpit of a helicopter. "Now that's innovation that excites!"

Next year the GT-R/C will be used on a tour of primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom to promote future careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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