“This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff. The GT-R /C has brought my two worlds together…”Jann Mardenborough, GT Academy winner and NISMO race car driver
This was all done to coincide with the release of the video game Gran Turismo Sport, which is out in Europe on October 18. This marks 20 years of Nissan’s involvement in the Gran Turismo gaming series. The one-off GT-R /C project car was extensively modified to be driven entirely by a DualShock 4 controller. A few millimetres of button movement or joystick travel are all it takes to unleash the GT-R’s full power. The remote-control vehicle is capable of a top speed of more than 300 km/h. It was not restricted for the purpose of the project car and no one sat behind the wheel of the car.
The GT-R /C is fitted with four robots that operate the steering, transmission, brakes and throttle. Six computers mounted in the boot update the controls at up to 100 times a second. The steering position is measured to one part in 65,000. The unmodified DualShock 4 connects to a micro-computer which interprets the joystick and button signals and transmits them to the GT-R /C’s on-board systems. The wireless operation has a primary control range of one kilometre. 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 presented some unique challenges and a number of engineering firsts for us,” said James Brighton of JLB Design Ltd. “We had to ensure the robotics would operate effectively during fast acceleration/deceleration as well as high cornering g-forces; deliver realistic and reassuring control of the car at all speeds; and maintain a robust connection between the car and the DualShock 4 over variable distances and with minimal latency in robot response times. I’m delighted to say all these challenges were overcome but it’s testament to Jann’s unique skillset that he was able to master the vehicle’s operation in a very short period of time whilst delivering some truly impressive lap times.”
In 2018, the Nissan GT-R /C will be used in a tour of primary and secondary schools in the UK to promote future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.