x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 November 2017

Watch: A driverless Nissan GT-R race round an F1 track operated via a PlayStation controller

The heavily modified Japanese sports car hit speeds of more than 200kph

Jann Mardenborough with the PlayStation-controller-operated Nissan GT-R /C. Courtesy Nissan
Jann Mardenborough with the PlayStation-controller-operated Nissan GT-R /C. Courtesy Nissan

Video games and real-life driving have been melded together in the fullest manner yet via a Sony Playstation-controller-operated Nissan GT-R that has completed a lighting-fast run round the Silverstone Formula One circuit in England.

The heavily modified Nissan GT-R /C, as it has been named, hit speeds of more than 200kph with nobody behind the wheel – and has the ability to top 300kph. It was piloted from a helicopter using a DualShock controller by Jann Mardenborough.

The young driver has form in the mixing of gaming and IRL driving, as a winner of the GT Academy competition, which identifies potential professional racing drivers from their console-based skills.

The 542bhp, V6-powered GT-R /C was adapted from a 2011 R35 variant of the cult Japanese sports car. It has four robots that operate the steering, transmission, brakes and accelerator, while six boot-mounted computers update the controls at up to 100 times a second. On the fastest lap, the car averaged 122kph and reached a top speed of 211kph.

The stunt was to celebrate the launch of new game Gran Turismo Sport, which is out now, and also marks 20 years of Nissan’s involvement in the best-selling game franchise.

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