AUTONOMOUS driving by Range Rover and Jaguar
Autonomous vehicles and the technologies needed to ensure public and vehicle safety is a very hot topic and almost every mainstream car manufacturer is promising to introduce their version of what the future would look like into the market
In recent press release, Tony Harper – Head of Jaguar Land Rover Research, said: “Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents. 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.”
This claim was backed by a £20 million government-funded UK “Autodrive” project that ends this month, when the three years programme comes to end. The initiative meant, Jaguar Land Rover engineers had to complete significant self-driving technology testing on closed tracks before being allowed to head onto our public roads in Milton Keynes and Coventry.
The trial had four objectives:
1- Integrate autonomous and connected vehicles into real-world urban environments.
2- Show how autonomous and connected vehicles could solve everyday challenges such as congestion.
3- Demonstrate the commercial operation of electric-powered self-driving “pods” at a city scale.
4- Provide insight for key stakeholders and decision-makers, including legislators, insurers and investors.
Mark Cund, Jaguar Land Rover Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager, said: “The Coventry Ring Road is known for its complicated slip roads and exits. It makes for very challenging conditions, especially when under pressure in the rush hour. Our self-driving car is not impacted by the same pressure, frustrations or fatigue that a driver may experience and so it’s capable of turning a potentially very stressful situation into a completely stress-free one.”
The car chosen for this enormous task was the Range Rover Sport which was improved to include additional navigation sensors, “RADAR” and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). The vehicle can now autonomously handle roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads, and just for those who find parking a bit challenging, It can also park itself.
The Vehicle can cruise autonomously at 40mph speed limit, and Jaguar Land Rover plans to make self-driving vehicles a reality for customers within 10 years, which is a serious ambition given the level of technology and testing is needed.
Is autonomous Driving for you? would you ever see yourself behind a wheel? Love to hear your thoughts on this.