Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

PS controller takes driverless Nissan GT-R to 131 miles per hour around Silverstone

PS controller takes driverless Nissan GT-R to 131 miles per hour around Silverstone

Six computers mounted in the rear of the auto update the controls at up to 100 times a second. In other words, Mardenborough has plenty of experience piloting a GT-R with a PlayStation controller, though until now it was always with a virtual version of the auto, instead of the real thing. It's a good thing the driver knows how to play Gran Turismo Sport, I'm sure Nissan wouldn't appreciate bouncing this vehicle off the walls of the track.

As for the tech in the auto, it was fitted with four robots operating the steering, transmission, brakes, and throttle. And all this via unmodified DualShock4 gaming controller that connects to a micro-computer interpreting the joystick and button signals and transmiting them to the GT-R /C's onboard systems.

The auto ultimately completed a lap of 1:17.47, averaging 76 miles per hour (122 km/h) and hitting a top speed of 131 miles per hour (211 km/h).

A Racelogic VBOX Motorsport sensor relayed speed information to an LCD display in the helicopter for Mardenborough to judge speeds with.

Nissan's GT-R is often referred to as "the PlayStation sports auto", due to the fact that before the release of the very first Gran Turismo video game in 1998, much of the English-speaking world had never heard of Nissan's halo vehicle. The low-flying chopper reportedly had trouble keeping up with the 542bhp vehicle, but there were two independent safety systems in place that would have stopped the GT-R /C if Mardenborough lost control at any point.

Mardenborough described the event as "once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff". "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", said Mardenborough. JLB Design has done an incredible job at making everything respond really well. Driving a full-size, remote-control GT-R to 131 miles per hour at Silverstone whilst chasing it down in a helicopter was an unforgettable experience.

At the controls is professional racer Jann Mardenborough, who's an apt choice for a number of reasons.

After this demonstration run, Nissan will tour the GT-R/C around schools in the United Kingdom to promote STEM education.

Like this: