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The days since we watched in awe at Michael’s infamous driverless car, Kit, in popular 1980s show Knight Rider are slowly fading away as new driverless technology becomes a far more realistic phenomenon.
The concept of driverless cars on Britain’s roads is getting closer to a reality and Land Rover is keen to set the bar with its Discovery Vision Concept which has the added advantage of being driven ‘at very low speed’ using a smart phone, tablet or the car’s removable console.
Despite the very normal looking facade, Land Rover’s latest concept car has a set of gadgets that even Kit would envy, to include laser positioning sensors, gesture-controlled systems and an ‘invisible’ bonnet that allows the driver to ‘see through’ the car to the ground beneath. But the most radical development in the Discovery Vision Concept is remote-control drive, which allows anyone to drive the vehicle ‘at very low speed while not actually seated inside it’.
Land Rover has said that the system is designed to be used on and off-road from coupling a trailer to spotting obstacles during extreme off-road driving. The off-road remote operation function entitled ‘All-Terrain Progress Control’, will be semi-autonomous. The new concept also possesses ‘Wade Aid’ a gadget capable of measuring the depth in patches of water to prevent the vehicle from getting stuck.
In addition, the new Discovery concept sports a huge boot and seating for up to seven passengers, with added luxuries such as doors which open at the swipe of your hand, laser positioning sensors, gesture-controlled technology and an ‘invisible’ bonnet that that allows the driver to see through the metal to the ground beneath their vehicles.
Gerry McGovern, design director and chief creative officer at Land Rover, said: ‘The Discovery Concept vehicle represents a Vision of our future family of leisure SUVs.
‘Its modern, relevant and compelling design is a significant shift from Discovery as we know it, while well considered practicality, configurability and Land Rover’s capability seamlessly blend to create a highly desirable vehicle that connects on an emotional level.’
Land Rover is set to showcase the Discovery Vision at this week’s New York Motor Show, with the car going on sale later next year. The first car will be based on the current Range Rover Evoque and has an estimated starting price of around £30,000.