Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Online Test Drive is GTA IV with Only One Car and No Crime

Clearly taking its inspiration from those throwaway iPhone / iPod games loved so much by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, the North American arm of Mitsubishi Motors will let a select few test drive the new Outlander Sport compact [called ASX in Europe] remotely through "Mitsubishi Live Drive".

In a world first, customers will be able to take the compact crossover around a closed circuit course, controlling the actually vehicle through an "interactive remote control" from the comfort of their own internet-connected PCs. I wonder what a "non-interactive remote control" would be...

When developing the Live Drive experience, Mitsubishi consulted robotics expert, Dr. James Brighton who was instrumental in constructing the online test drive program

The 5-seat CUV was rigged with multiple video cameras, servo motors that move the pedals and steering wheel and electronic receivers that pick up on the driver's control inputs.

Mitsubishi boasts that, "participants will enjoy the feeling of literally being in the driver's seat." You know, without G-force or inertia or any other feeling you might get from actually driving a car.

Those who use the Live Drive program will also have the opportunity to collect "feature pods"; you know, like the coins Mario picks up. Only these ones tell you about the features on the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Riveting!

Oh well, it sounds more interesting than listening to a dealer drone on and on about this and that at the dealership for hours on end, though I'd still rather take a shot at controlling one of the vehicles in the DARPA Urban Challenge though.

If you are 18 years old, live in the United States and have a valid driver's license you can sign up on the car's microsite from the 15th of October. The Live Drive days will be held between the 1st and 10th of November, coinciding with campaigns in other media including television and print.

By Tristan Hankins