Outlander Sport Live Drives Make World Record

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Live Drive campaign, which concluded on November 11th, provided virtual test drives to nearly 5,000 consumers and also earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, informs Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA).

The company says Guinness World Records has confirmed that MMNA has achieved a new world record for the furthest distance driven by an online controlled vehicle in 24 hours – 91 miles.

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During Nov. 1-10, U.S. residents 18 years and older with a valid driver’s license were allowed to register to have the chance to take a virtual jump behind the wheel to drive the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. (Read: Online Test Drive with New Outlander Sport)

As the global auto market is getting more aggressive, most auto makers are releasing their innovative vehicles for the consumers.

The 2010 LA Auto Show is hosting 20 world debuts and more than 30 North American debuts across virtually all vehicle categories.

The show opens amidst improved auto sales and a growing sense of optimism that is evident from the increased number of debuts, more participating manufacturers and larger, more elaborate exhibits, say the show organizers. (Read: Over 50 Vehicles to Get Unveiled at LA Auto Show)

Technology is increasingly being used to produce cars of the future. Automaker Lexus, for example, is working on an idea of a future car that will never have an accident.

The company is using an advanced driving simulator to enable its engineers to design technology that will help make driving safer. (Read: Can there be a No-Accident Car?)

The Outlander world record is the result of MMNA’s latest marketing collaboration with creative agency of record, 180 LA. The Mitsubishi Live Drive is claimed to be the world’s first online test drive that gave drivers an interactive experience to remotely test drive a real 2011 Outlander Sport using their computer and an Internet connection.

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“We ad people often talk about doing ideas that are world firsts,” notes William Gelner, executive creative director at 180 LA.  “Few can actually say that the Guinness World Records team showed up to witness. This is a huge honor.”

In addition to the world record, the project encompassed:

  • Over 40,000 registrants;
  • Nearly 5,000 drivers from all 50 U.S. states test drove the vehicle;
  • 38 people spent their entire online drive doing donuts; and
  • 11 participants chose to enjoy their entire drive in reverse driving backwards.

“With almost 5,000 test drives, this program has gained wide acceptance from our dealer body, consumers, and the general public, not only improving brand awareness, but also driving consumer traffic,” noted Gregory Adams, VP Marketing for MMNA. 

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How was it done? The project concept was created and led by 180 LA and included interactive partners B-Reel, and robotics expert Dr. James Brighton.

Brighton custom-built an in-car robotics system that controlled the steering, gear changes, acceleration and braking while B-Reel created software to connect the automotive robotics using driver input from the Internet.

B-Reel created the website that allowed users to remotely test drive the vehicle while MMNA digital agency-of-record Schematic developed the Outlander Sport microsite which drove pre-event buzz and created banner ads to drive online sign-up.

Once in the “driver’s seat,” participants were able to steer and brake the car in real-time with only their computer keyboard, while taking in the live-streaming view out the front windshield.

The whole experience was enhanced by audio of the Outlander’s revving engine or consumer-selected music tracks.

To ensure that drivers didn’t steer the Outlander out of bounds, the vehicle’s whereabouts were constantly tracked using three laser-based GPS systems from Japanese company Topcon.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a 5-passenger compact crossover vehicle (CUV).

RMN News

Rakesh Raman