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New Land Rover Defender could get remote control for off-roading

Land Rover’s redesigned 2020 Defender sports some impressive tech, but the automaker isn’t stopping with what’s already included — it’s still whipping up more features that really think outside the box.

Literally, Land Rover wants you to be outside its boxy truck when the going gets tough, and is working on new technology to allow drivers to remotely control their Defender.

The idea is when you’re off-roading, you’ll be able to see difficult obstacles much easier if you’re not stuck behind the wheel or just using the various camera systems.

This is more than just a parking feature — the tech would actually allow drivers to step out of their Defender and control the steering, throttle and braking, reports Autocar. While Land Rover is still working on it, presumably it would be controlled by a key fob or with a smartphone.

There are other factors to work out as well, such as how fast the vehicle should be allowed to travel, how far away the driver needs to be, and if it can be turned off quickly and safely.

Although this is all super-cool tech, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be hitting the showrooms soon. There’s still a mountain of red tape the tech must go through before it can be approved for use on the road, or off.

Stuart Frith, the firm’s chief product engineer, said in conversation with Autocar “we’ve got as far as understanding how to do it, and we’ve run prototypes as well.”

Hopefully, the tech passes inspection just as BMW has finished its parking assist technology, and Tesla wraps its Smart Summon feature.