We've seen the future of self-driving cars, and it's very muddy.
The proverbial autonomous driving genie's been released out of the bottle, and there's no way of shoving the spirit back in again. Not even the tragic events that lead to the first ever death in a self-driving car crash can hold back the rapid progress being made in self-driving technologies, especially when we've seen such rapid advancements over such a short space of time. Despite the relative infancy of these systems, though, Jaguar Land Rover's already seeing it fit to start taking these gadgets further off the asphalt than they've ever been before.
Though still in in the research phase, Jaguar Land Rover's new 'autonomous all-terrain driving' systems are already showing plenty of promise.
The camera setup, for instance, allows JLR's inew 'Overhead Clearance Assist' to detect if the path ahead is being obstructed, and the wireless 'vehicle to vehicle' feature can allow an 'Off-Road Connected Convoy' to be formed. Perhaps more impressive are the array of ultrasonic sensors: not only do they allow the car to adjust its speed to suit the conditions up ahead, but they also work in conjunction with Land Rover's Terrain Response system so the car can set itself up for the surfaces ahead. Though this new technology is being demonstrated on off-road rails, Jaguar Land Rover has far grander ambitions for this all-terrain software and hardware.
For instance, not only do these systems allegedly function as admirably on the public road as they do on gravel trails, but the eventual intent is to develop a continuously active system that can "think" for itself and, when instructed to, control the car on the ideal trajectory through obstacles or hazards up ahead if the driver feels unable to do so on their own. It's still early days yet, and we likely won't see these advanced features in production Jaguar and Land Rovers for some time, but we genuinely can't wait to try them out for ourselves.