The Navigation Engineer will select the Rover's destination (way-point) in conjunction with the Science team, before deploying (driving) the Rover and ensuring sufficient power is available (Power Engineer), and the Low-gain antenna has been selected by the Communications Engineer for constant radio contact.

The Rover has 6 wheels with their own individual motors. The steering capability allows the Rover to turn in place, a full 360 degrees. The rocker-bogie suspension system ensures that the rover's body is balanced while it drives over uneven terrain. (The suspension system is how the wheels are connected to and interact with the rover body.) The wheels provide grip for soft sand and scrambling over rocks.

The Rover will average 1 centimetre per second because it must stop every few minutes to allow the Hazard Avoidance software to recalculate its location and the best path to the next way-point.

The Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, developed problems with its right front wheel - it began drawing twice as much electrical current as the other five wheels. A few months later the wheel stopped drawing current. The motor that rotated the wheel had broken down.

The NASA engineers drove the Rover backwards to protect the damaged wheel, until in late 2009 Spirit's wheel got firmly stuck in soft soil. Despite the Engineers best efforts, Spirit remained stuck, and unable to align its solar panel to maximise winter sunlight, Spirit's last message back to Earth was received on March 22, 2010.