A driverless Jaguar I-Pace will be used to trial the technology.
Land Rover has been researching and developing autonomous driving technology for several years now. Back in 2018, the automaker announced a partnership with Waymo to develop self-driving versions of the Jaguar I-Pace.
But unleashing self-driving Discovery and Range Rover SUVs with unproven technology onto the public road obviously isn't a good idea and could cause a fatal accident. Instead, Land Rover is collaborating with global software, mobility, and telecoms companies to create a "smart city hub" to test self-driving cars in real-world scenarios on streets with cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. As part of a collaboration with technology companies such as Cisco, Seagate, Renovo, and Red Hat, Jaguar Land Rover will develop a private testing facility called the 'The Future Mobility Campus Ireland'.
Located in Shannon, Ireland, the facility will feature eight miles of road to test driverless cars. This will enable Jaguar Land Rover to gather sensor data, simulate different road environments and traffic scenarios, and test new technologies. A Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV will be used to test the self-driving technology, allowing the automaker to advance its research into autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles.
Jaguar Land Rover's test facility will be equipped with sensors, location systems, a data management and control center, and self-driving prototype vehicles. It will also feature smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking, and EV charging facilities.
Jaguar Land Rover says the facility will also be linked to a 280-mile stretch of connected highway and a managed air traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles from Shannon airport along the Shannon Estuary in Ireland.
"This partnership with FMCI provides us with a real-world facility to trial our emerging autonomous, connected, electrified and shared technology in a strategic location. Collaborating with top-tier software companies will allow us to develop our future systems more efficiently," said John Cormican, General Manager for Shannon Ireland Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar Land Rover plans to start testing its new self-driving technology in February 2021 and complete the facility in September 2021.