Mitsubishi offers remote-control test drives

Mitsubishi’s planning to let couch potatoes test drive its new 4×4 without leaving the house.

From next week, potential purchasers with a US driving license will be able to control the new 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport via the internet to steer it round a racecourse in California.

The company promises that drivers will have ‘almost complete control’ of the $18,495 vehicle – although, rather unsportingly, its speed will be capped at 30mph.

The vehicle comes equipped with multiple point of view video cameras, electronic receivers and servo motors to control the vehicle’s dynamics and sync it with GPS mapping. Participants see a ‘drivers eye view’ on their PC screen.

As well as just taking it out for a spin, they can complete a challenge by collecting ‘feature pods’ and getting to grips with ther car’s various features.

“We see this project as part of the ever-expanding blur between the virtual world and the physical world,” says William Gelner, executive creative director of ad agency 180 LA. “A prime example of how technology continues to evolve the way we approach even the simplest experiences, like test-driving a car.”

Participants can start signing up today, here, to get a code that can be used to queue for the live test drive on opening day, November 1st.

“We have worked hard to devise a truly innovative marketing campaign utilizing cutting edge technologies to recreate a genuine Mitsubishi-experience that engages consumers upfront about the new 2011 Outlander Sport and the Mitsubishi Motors brand,” says Gregory Adams, Mitsubishi North America vice president of marketing.