Meet the world's first PS4 controller-operated Nissan GT-R

To mark Nissan's 20-year involvement with the Gran Turismo Sport game franchise, the Japanese automaker created this one-off project: a life size GT-R controlled entirely by a DualShock4, and piloted by NISMO athlete and GT Academy victor Jann Mardenborough around Silverstone's famous National Circuit in the UK.

The one-off project auto was based on a 2011 Nissan R35 GT-R, a factory-stock vehicle rather than a dedicated racing variant or a hotted-up NISMO. JLB Design converted a standard 2011 GT-R from the year Mardenborough won Nissan and Gran Turismo's GT Academy program into the GT-R/C.

To celebrate the release of the new Sony PlayStation game Gran Turismo Sport, Nissan has put together a neat little stunt which involves driving a GT-R via a DualShock 4 PlayStation controller at high speed. He was flown behind the auto at low altitude in a helicopter throughout, which made controlling the supercar easier.

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The one-off Nissan GT-R/C - with a top speed of 196mph - can be controlled by just a PlayStation 4 gamepad.

"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 auto at all speeds, and maintain a robust connection between the vehicle and the DualShock over variable distances and with minimal latency in robot response times". With this, Mardenborough was able to post a fastest lap of 1:17.47 at the circuit, with an average speed of 122km/h. The wireless operation has a primary control range of one kilometre.

Now racing full-time for Nissan in Japan, Mardenborough starred in the latest round of the Super GT Championship last weekend in Thailand, qualifying on the front row and setting the fastest lap of the race. A Racelogic VBox Motorsport sensor relays speed data to the "remote" driver.

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Mardenborough described it as "once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff".

In 2018, the Nissan 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 Maths) subjects.

The GT-R /C was engineered in the United Kingdom by JLB Design, using a standard-spec 404kW V6-powered 2011 R35.

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  • Gina Adkins