Jaguar Land Rover to Test Self-Driving Car Tech on Public Roads

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is the latest automaker to announce its intention to test connected car technology on public roads. 

JLR will use 41 miles of public roads around Coventry and Solihull, England as a “living laboratory” to test a number of technologies including vehicle-to-vehicle communications and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

Five JLR research vehicles will be part of a fleet of 100 cars that are all part of the UK Connected Intelligence Transport Environment project, which has received roughly $4.9 million from the British government. The project will outfit the test route with specific roadside equipment, like stop lights, that will be able to communicate with the cars on the road, while the cars themselves will be able to talk to each other.

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The project will look at ways to optimize traffic flow using all of the data provided by each vehicle. Having vehicles communicating with each other will allow your car to travel on the fastest route as it knows the traffic situation around it. Another benefit of this testing will be the development of an early warning system which alerts the driver of a vehicle to hazards coming up on the road. The system would also allow connected cars to pass information to emergency services.

A cooperative adaptive cruise system is also being developed, allowing a number of cars to follow each other in formation.

In a separate research project, JLR is working towards making its self-driving cars handle like humans do. To do this, employees will drive a fleet of specific vehicles daily so that the cars can test how a range of drivers react to real-world driving situations. JLR wants its self-driving cars to act just like human drivers in hopes that folks will be more inclined to trust the technology if it drives like them.

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