Posted on July 13, 2016 by staff

Jaguar Land Rover to test self-driving cars in UK this year


Jaguar Land Rover is to test self-driving cars in the UK this year.

A 41-mile‘living laboratory’ test route – on motorways and urban roads – around Coventry and Solihull in the Midlands will host the test fleet.

The cars will also test connected technology – how vehicles ‘talk’ to one another and the infrastructure on the roads to notify drivers of hazards.

“Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents,” said Jaguar Land Rover’s head of research Tony Harper.

“We will also improve the driving experience, with drivers able to choose how much support and assistance they need.

“In traffic, for example, the driver could choose autonomy assist during tedious or stressful parts of the journey.

“But even when an enthusiastic driver is fully focused on enjoying the thrill of the open road, the new technology we are creating will still be working in the background to help keep them safe.”

The tech includes cameras which generate a 3D view of the road allied to image processing software, which recognises cones and barriers.

“Because the intelligent car will always be alert and is never distracted, it could guide you through road works and prevent accidents,” Harper continued.

“If you are a keen driver, imagine being able to receive a warning that there’s a hazard out of sight or around a blind bend.

“Whether it’s a badly parked car or an ambulance heading your way, you could slow down, pass the hazard without fuss and continue on your journey.”

The British car company aims to put 100 research vehicles on the roads over the next four years.

The ‘vehicle-to-infrastructure’ tech would see them communicate with roadside signs, overhead gantries and traffic lights.

If it recognises that the deployment of the accelerator pedal or gear selection could lead to a collision, it in theory applies to brake safely and warns the driver.

The sharing of data could also make lane changing and crossing junctions safer.

Before the political mayhem caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, the Government announced plans to test driverless cars on UK motorways in 2017.

Jaguar Land Rover is also working on all-terrain autonomous driving capability for its vehicles as well as a system which connects ambulances, police cars and fire engines with other vehicles.

A recent BusinessCloud roundtable heard that the Internet of Things – connected devices – could eradicate problems such as parking and potholes.