October 11, 2010

Mitsubishi Goes Driver-less

Have you ever bought a new car without taking it for a spin first? Mitsubishi is bringing the concept of the test drive in a new high-tech direction. Starting November 1st, Mitsubishi is offering you the opportunity to drive its new Outlander Sport online. On the surface it sounds like a video game, but this test drive is the real thing.

Mitsubishi Live Drive will let drivers use their computers to maneuver an actual Outlander Sport on a closed course in southern California. Multiple point-of-view cameras will put participants behind the wheel. Advanced electronic receivers and state-of-the-art servo motors will control the vehicle’s dynamics. Virtual boundaries connected by GPS are in place to keep you from driving off the course.

In a company press release, Mitsbuishi’s Vice-President of Marketing Greg Adams says, “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.”

The test drives are only available for a 10 day period and each one lasts just 90 seconds. So it isn’t likely the Live Drive alone will sell many new Outlander Sport vehicles. Mitsubishi is counting on the buzz it will receive by doing something different. There is a huge amount of risk involved here. What happens if there’s a technical glitch? Mitsubishi could come across looking badly unprepared.

What do you think?
Do you give Mitsubishi credit for thinking big?

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