Watch: Freak onboard of Nissan GTR driven by PS4 controller
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Nissan has created the ultimate remote-control car – the Nissan GT-R /C.
Celebrating the release of Gran Turismo Sport and marking 20 years of Nissan involvement in the Gran Turismo gaming series, the one-off project car was extensively modified to be driven entirely by a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller.
Despite being operated by a gaming controller, no restrictions were placed on the GTR/C’s performance, which is capable of 315km/h with no one sitting behind the wheel.
The GT-R /C was put through its paces by NISMO racing driver and TRS graduate Jann Mardenborough around Silverstone’s National Circuit. Mardenborough controlled the GT-R /C from the cockpit of a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter.
Mardenborough is one of the most successful winners of GT Academy, Nissan’s driver discovery and development programme. Jann was approached to be the first driver of the GT-R /C because of his talent in both Gran Turismo gaming and real-life motorsport.
The GT-R /C was fitted with four robots that operate the steering, transmission, brakes and throttle. Six computers mounted in the boot update the controls at up to 100 times a second.
The GT-R /C was engineered in the UK by JLB Design Ltd, using a standard-spec V6-powered 2011 R35.
On Mardenborough’s fastest lap (1:17:47), the GT-R /C averaged 122kph and reached a top speed of 211kph – the average for the 2.6km loop circuit is around 134kph.
The unmodified DualShock4 connects to a micro-computer which interprets the joystick and button signals and transmits them to the GT-R /C’s on-board systems. The wireless operation has a primary control range of one kilometre.
To help Mardenborough judge the vehicle’s speed through the corners, a Racelogic VBOX Motorsport sensor was installed to relay speed data to a LCD display in the helicopter cockpit.
In 2018, the Nissan GT-R /C will be used in a tour of primary and secondary schools to promote future careers in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.