Mitsubishi rallied nearly 5,000 drivers from all 50 states, over 11 days, to participate in a massive virtual test drive of a robotically equipped Outlander Sport.
The event, dubbed the Mitsubishi Motors North America Outlander Sport Live Drive Campaign, ran from November 1 to 11. The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that Mitsubishi achieved a new world record for the farthest distance driven in 24 hours by an online-controlled vehicle--91 miles.
"With almost 5,000 test drives, this program has gained wide acceptance from our dealer body, consumers, and the general public, not only improving brand awareness, but also driving consumer traffic," said Gregory Adams, vice president of marketing for Mitsubishi. "The use of this technology is an innovative means of communicating the standout features of the new Outlander Sport. Not only has Live Drive helped enhance the brand's perception, but the campaign has enhanced the longheld favorable marriage between technology and our advanced products such as our feature-rich lineup of Lancer vehicles."
The drivers were chosen from more than 40,000 registrants. Of the participants, 38 drivers spent their entire time doing doughnuts and 11 drivers stayed in reverse on their rides, Mitsubishi said in a press release.
The drivers were able to steer and brake the car in real time from their computer keyboards, while viewing a live-stream feed from the front windshield. Drivers could hear the revving engine or even select their own music tracks. To ensure that drivers didn't steer the Outlander out of bounds, the vehicle was tracked using three laser-based GPS systems from Japanese company Topcon.