Radio Shack controller, Toyota wheels

If you can remotely-control a model car, why can’t you remotely-control a real car?

Let’s assume you have the right radio-receivers and control gizmos on the accelerator, brakes, steering, etc. I’m not sure how many channels of control you’d need, but presumably it’d be better with an automatic transmission.

Presumably you’d need return channels for vision and sound for the driver, although how many is a good question. I can, however, imagine following the car in a helicopter and controlling it visually.

Is this ever done, say for movie stunts? Is remote-controlling a normal car in itself illegal, or is it so rare and expensive that there haven’t been enough instances of problems to lead to its specific prohibition?

I assume that the car would still have to be driven safely and legally; the precise position of the driver with respect to its interior shouldn’t matter as long as the car is driven well.


Rigardu, kaj vi ekvidos?

Of course you can run a car by remote control. You can even fly a full-size aircraft by remote control ( some engineers crashed a 707 a few years ago. It was flown remotely).

The problem is that operating full-size vehicles by remote control is extremely expensive. You need powerful, fast servomotors, and they ain’t cheap. So unless the vehicle has to do extremely dangerous things it’s not worth it.

Some movie stunts have been done with remote control vehicles, but it’s generally cheaper to either A) use a stuntman, B) reproduce the stunt in CGI, or C) put the vehicle on some kind of track to guide it.