Having just debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Land Rover Defender has SUV enthusiasts and avid off-roaders as psyched as can be. Besides its top-notch terrain response, the new Defender is expected to be equipped with plenty of high-tech features, such as a state-of-the-art infotainment system and Apple and Android compatibility. There is one potential feature, though, that is sure to excite both off-roading junkies and techheads alike: remote control off-roading.
According to the British automaker’s chief product engineer Stuart Frith, the proposed feature is “a good idea,” and he added that the Defender was “capable to do that in terms of its architecture.”
Per Gear Patrol:
[Remote control off-road capability] would allow the driver to serve as his or her own spotter when clearing particularly tricky obstacles. The technology could potentially incorporate Land Rover’s Activity Key wearable to ensure the driver is within eyesight of the vehicle.
It wouldn’t be the easiest thing to pull off, though. As per Frith, the chief hurdle to implementing remote control technology for a production Land Rover will be getting legislative approval for it. Having the driver operate the vehicle remotely raises more regulatory issues than the self-parking technology currently available on some cars.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender was first teased back in late December 2018, with Kim McCullough, VP of marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, calling it “the most off-road capable Land Rover vehicle ever.” The initial spy shots showcased the Defender’s trademark boxy body styling, independent air suspension, and tailgate-mounted spare tire.
At Frankfurt, the new Defender debuted in both two-door (Defender 90) and four-door (Defender 110) wheelbase sizes. It will also be expected to carry electrified options, including all-electric, plug-in-hybrid, and mild hybrid.