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October 11, 2017

The Nissan GT-R / C is a Life-Sized Remote Controlled Car (w/ Video)

Ever wondered if Gran Turismo could accurately simulate the handling characteristics of a real car? Seems Nissan put that to the test when they hooked up a one-off Nissan GT-R to drive like a life-sized RC car driven solely using a Playstation DualShock 4 controller.

Commemorating the release of Gran Turismo Sport as well as Nissan’s 20-year involvement in the video game franchise, Nissan modified a GT-R transforming it into the GT-R / C. Piloted by NISMO racing driver and GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough, the GT-R / C set a lap time of 1 minute 17.47 seconds around Silverstone’s National Circuit track. Controlled from the cockpit of a helicopter, Mardenborough topped out at 211 km/h, reaching an average speed of 122 km/h as a result.

The GT-R /C is fitted with four robots that operate the steering, transmission, brakes, and throttle. Six computers mounted in the rear of the car update the controls at up to 100 times a second.

Meanwhile, a DualShock 4 controller connects to a micro-computer that interprets the joystick and button signals and transmits them to the GT-R /C’s onboard systems. The wireless operation has a primary control range of one kilometer.

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.

The GT-R /C is also fitted with two independent safety systems, operating on different radio frequencies, which allow two additional operators to apply full ABS braking and cut the engine in the event of the main operator losing control of the vehicle.

“This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff,” said Mardenborough. “The GT-R /C has brought my two worlds together – the virtual of gaming and the reality of motorsport – in a way I never thought possible. The response from the car when using the controller was far more engaging than I thought it would be. JLB Design has done an incredible job at making everything respond really well. Steering, acceleration and braking were all intelligently configured, allowing for controlled application so I could really get a feel through the corners and hold it steady down the fast straights. Driving a full-size, remote-control GT-R to 131 mph at Silverstone whilst chasing it down in a helicopter was an unforgettable experience. Now that’s innovation that excites!”

Now racing full-time for Nissan in Japan, Mardenborough starred in the latest round of the Super GT Championship last weekend in Thailand.

Nissan says the one-off GT-R / C will be used in a tour of primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom to promote future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects.

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