I could not remember its name, but a quick google search on 1980s toys programmable vehicle revealed the one and only Big Trak.
Technically it was a toy of the late 1970's, but its futuristic style wore well into the early 1980's. Essentially it was a thinking man's remote control car.
It did not have an external remote, rather the top of the Big Trak contained a key pad which you could program a series of commands to tell the Big Trak what to do, Go forward 10 steps, turn left, reverse 2 steps, fire the proton cannon 200 times.
As a kid I wanted one of these (or at least I think I did). Now, being older and seeing a video of one in action, I would assume the capabilities did not justify whatever price it was sold at...