Jaguar To Soon Begin Real-World Autonomous Testing With 100 Cars

Jaguar To Soon Begin Real-World Autonomous Testing With 100 Cars

The automaker's V2V and V2I technologies include systems such as Roadwork Assist, Safe Pullaway, Over the Horizon Warning and Emergency Vehicle Warning. Other automakers, including Audi and Tesla, are also testing autonomous capabilities in real-world situations (see story). "So whether it's a road under construction with cones and a contraflow, a snow-covered road in the mountains or a muddy forest track, this advanced capability would be available to both the driver and the autonomous auto, with the driver able to let the vehicle take control if they were unsure how best to tackle an obstacle or hazard ahead", said Tony Harper, Head of Research. With high vehicle speeds, nearby workers and unusual road terrain, construction zones are considered one of the most high-stakes environments for fledgling semi-autonomous technologies.

Some of the CAV technologies which JLR highlights are Roadwork Assist, Safe Pullaway, Over The Horizon Warning, and Emergency Vehicle Warning.

The system also looks for obstacles such as overhanging branches, exposed tree roots or even height barriers in auto parks, warning the driver if its path is going to lead to a collision.

According to the company, the sensors on-board its autonomous vehicles would include a stereo camera which can generate 3D view of the road and together with advanced image processing technology and easily recognise potholes, traffic cones and other barriers such as roadworks and quickly identify an ideal path for the auto to take. Even when drivers can hear sirens, they can't always tell which direction the noise is coming from, JLR notes.

For concerns of tall vehicles negotiating low-hanging obstructions, Overhead Clearance Assist uses stereo camera technology to scan ahead. If the system receives signals from the throttle pedal activation and senses a collision could happen, the vehicle will brake on its own and give an audible warning to the driver.

The reality of cars driving themselves - even on the best of roads - may still seem a fair way off to many Kiwis, however Jaguar Land Rover's New Zealand general manager Steve Kenchington believes the technology will ultimately be perfectly suited to our motoring conditions.

New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three-year UK-CITE project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five JLR research vehicles.

James Towle, global product strategy director, characterized the features as "tech to suit the driven and the autonomous auto".

Another key element of successful all-terrain autonomous driving is the ability for vehicles to communicate with each other, especially if they are out of sight around a bend or on the other side of an off-road obstacle.

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