You don't buy an off-road vehicle to only prowl shopping plazas. No, you take the darn thing off the beaten path. Land Rover knows this and has put together quite the package for its reborn , but one day owners could potentially drive the SUV via remote control.
That's the word from Land Rover product engineer Stuart Frith, who told Autocar Friday the technology is in development. Basically, the driver could hop out of the Defender during a tricky pass off-road, scout the obstacle and then remote control the SUV from outside of the vehicle. All of this would happen at very low speeds, so don't think Land Rover will let you go with this kind of tech.
Frith added the SUV's architecture is totally capable of running such a system and confirmed the company has run prototypes with the remote control technology. Roadshow reached out to Land Rover to learn more, but the automaker didn't immediately respond to our request for comment.
According to the report, this kind of technology would work with the Defender's 3D Scout system. The tech creates a virtual picture of the SUV from an outside point of view. Any future improvements would also require the vehicle's Activity Key to inform the SUV the driver is present and has control.
The 2020 Defender marks the nameplate's return to the US after years of absence. When it arrives on these shores, look for prices to start at $50,925 for the 110 variant (the four-door model). Prices for the arguably cooler Defender 90 two-door SUV will come in 2020.