Jaguar Land Rover Begins Testing Self-Driving Gear On The Road

Technology

That was quick!

Recently, we uploaded our report on Jaguar Land Rover's incredibly sophisticated autonomous driving systems that, even at this early stage, are looking like they'll mark a huge step forward for self-driving technology. In fact, so advanced are these gadgets and gizmos, we initially believed that we wouldn't actually see them on road-legal Land Rovers and Jaguars for a while. However, Jaguar Land Rover's PR department handily proved us wrong with the announcement of a "real world test program."

The current scope of this admittedly still incredibly ambitious new stage in the development scheme isn't to suddenly make a system that can drive a Jaguar or Land Rover by itself.

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Instead, the aspects being trialed and refined here will mostly deal with systems that will allow cars to "talk" to and share information with each other. Jaguar Land Rover will also be extending this communication set-up to roadside infrastructures. For instance, if the car notices it's travelling in the wrong highway lane by detecting roadside sign information, the system should in theory be able to change lanes in a prompt and safe manner. We'll have to see it in action first before we believe it, but it's all sounding incredibly promising. Actually, we might just end up witnessing these features doing their thing sooner rather than later.

Jaguar Land Rover's already earmarked a fleet of test vehicles to be sent out later this year around a 41-mile-long test route in the British Midlands. Furthermore, Jaguar Land Rover is looking to add more and more development vehicles to the lineup, with current targets being to have up to 100 JLR test cars fitted with this vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure equipment by the year 2020. There's still clearly a very long way to go before this technology is ready to be fitted to production cars, but - as we said in our original article - we can't wait to try this advanced autonomous gear out ourselves.

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