Will there one day be a time when a mobile device battery will be a critical part of a daily commute?
The latest mobile trends are starting to make their way into the territory of driving and auto insurance to an increasing degree, as electronic proof of coverage cards are allowed in the majority of states, and now Range Rover has announced that a smartphone app can drive one of its vehicles.
Jaguar Land Rover is currently testing an SUV that can be controlled by way of a smartphone application.
The testing could one day add even more uses for a smartphone than auto insurance coverage proof. In the testing, a mobile app is being used to drive the vehicle over rocky terrain and through streams, in a step that would advance current technology that no longer requires a vehicle’s driver to be sitting at the wheel. There are already driverless cars being tested on the roads and this could advance that type of tech in a new direction.
There is not yet any word about how this would affect a driver’s auto insurance premiums.
The mobile app would allow the driver to sit at a smartphone instead of the wheel, and control the Range Rover Sport in several different ways. This includes steering, braking, accelerating, and making U-turns. This can be done from inside the vehicle or while the driver walks alongside. The idea is that if the driver is outside the vehicle, he or she could obtain a better view of what is truly going on around it while it negotiates some tricky maneuvers, such as on steep or rocky terrain.
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It could also allow a driver to more safely steer the vehicle into tight parking spots, said the automaker. The company’s director of research and technology, Wolfgang Epple, released a statement that explained that “Getting a car out of a tricky parking maneuver can be a stressful experience for any driver.” He went on to add that through the use of this mobile app, it shows “how we could use these new technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.”
The auto insurance industry has been watching a number of other automakers who are making similar moves in advancing automatic piloting technology, including Daimler AG and BMW AG. The technology industry is certainly doing the same, as it may not be long before a portable battery charger is as important as car keys are today.