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Land Rover Wants Autonomous Off-Roading To Be A Thing

Technology / 2 Comments

Introducing Project Cortex. Hopefully it won't drive you off a cliff.

We knew this technology was going to happen sooner or later. Question was, which automaker would be the first to go for it? Today we have our answer. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced plans to develop off-road self-driving technology for its SUVs. Called Project Cortex, the ultimate goal is for SUVs to be fully capable in any off-road weather condition, such as dirt, rain, snow, ice or fog. To make this possible, JLR is developing a "5D" technique that combines acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time.

No question this is quite the engineering challenge, as the automaker further states that areas such as algorithm development, sensor optimization, and physical testing are all part of the equation. Helping JLR out with the project is the University of Birmingham in the UK. It just so happens to be on the world's leading research centers for radar and sensing integrated into autonomous platforms. No time line was given as to when project Cortex will be completed and, ultimately, rolled out to production vehicles, but JLR wouldn't invest the time and money if it didn't believe the technology was possible.

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"It's important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers," said Chris Holmes, JLR's Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager. Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation. CORTEX gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realize this vision in the near future."