Automotive

Jaguar puts new semi-autonomous systems to test in the real world

Jaguar puts new semi-autonomou...
Jaguar is testing a range of autonomous driving systems in Coventry and Solihull
Jaguar is testing a range of autonomous driving systems in Coventry and Solihull
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Jaguar wants to work with emergency services to make the roads safer 
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Jaguar wants to work with emergency services to make the roads safer 
Jaguar is testing the autonomous systems near its factory
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Jaguar is testing the autonomous systems near its factory
Some of Jaguar's systems are similar to the off-road autonomous tech Land Rover has been working on
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Some of Jaguar's systems are similar to the off-road autonomous tech Land Rover has been working on
Some elements of Jaguar's system aren't brand new
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Some elements of Jaguar's system aren't brand new
Jaguar's system uses a stereo camera to warn drivers if they're likely to hit something in front 
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Jaguar's system uses a stereo camera to warn drivers if they're likely to hit something in front 
Jaguar wants to give inattentive drivers a wakeup call
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Jaguar wants to give inattentive drivers a wakeup call
The cones are detected by the stereo camera, and the system plots a course through them
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The cones are detected by the stereo camera, and the system plots a course through them
The systems use a stereo camera to scan the road ahead
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The systems use a stereo camera to scan the road ahead
A taste of what the autonomous systems in future Jaguars might be able to do
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A taste of what the autonomous systems in future Jaguars might be able to do
A sample of the warning on the XE's central touchscreen
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A sample of the warning on the XE's central touchscreen
Using a stereo camera, the Roadworks Assist system will keep the driver from clipping a cone or barrier
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Using a stereo camera, the Roadworks Assist system will keep the driver from clipping a cone or barrier
Jaguar is testing a range of autonomous driving systems in Coventry and Solihull
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Jaguar is testing a range of autonomous driving systems in Coventry and Solihull

Jaguar Land Rover is throwing the kitchen sink at autonomous driving technology. On top of the tools it's developing for off-road autonomy, the Brits are planning to create a fleet of research vehicles testing a raft of self-driving technologies, ready to help drivers through roadworks and warn them of oncoming emergency services.

Initially, this testing will be focused on effective communications, from car-to-car and from car-to-infrastructure. Self-driving vehicles do their best work when they're linked, driving closer together than a reactive human behind the wheel would ever be able to.

Of course, we're not quite at the point where humans are able to take their hands off the wheel. That doesn't mean there aren't any immediate benefits to be taken from car-to-car communication, something proven by the car-to-x system in the new Mercedes E-Class. Jaguar says its communication system could make it easier for drivers to change lanes or cross busy junctions.

Jaguar wants to work with emergency services to make the roads safer 
Jaguar wants to work with emergency services to make the roads safer 

This communication system could also be used to warn drivers about hazards coming from over the horizon. That could be a broken-down car or it could be a traffic jam, but giving drivers (or the computer chip behind the wheel) prior warning allows them to avoid the problem, or be better prepared to handle it when they arrive.

Prior warning can also be useful when it comes to emergency services. When most drivers hear sirens they know they need to get out of the way, but they don't know what they're getting out of the way of. Jaguar wants to help emergency services by letting their vehicles communicate with regular cars, warning people there's a firetruck, ambulance or police car coming, and telling them where it's coming from.

Everyone has been held up by roadworks at some point. JLR isn't able to get rid of the workers, but it is able to make life easier for drivers as they try to navigate the cones and barriers. Using a stereo camera on the front of the car, the Roadwork Assist system paints a 3D picture of the road ahead.

Jaguar's system uses a stereo camera to warn drivers if they're likely to hit something in front 
Jaguar's system uses a stereo camera to warn drivers if they're likely to hit something in front 

It's able to recognize cones and barriers, and plots the ideal course through the maze, giving a helpful tug at the wheel if a driver deviates from that course.

Jaguar's Safe Pullaway system is also designed to help nervous, lazy drivers. If the stereo camera detects there's a chance of smacking into another car in traffic or driving into a garage wall, the system automatically hits the brakes and sounds an alarm.

These systems are being trialed on a 41 mile (66 km) test route around Coventry and Solihull later this year.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

3 comments
Mel Tisdale
Surely there needs to be some standards for the car to car, etc., communication system. And what about some plans to make the current fleet ready for post production fitmente of these systems; they are going to have to live together for about 25/30 years before all road vehicles are autonomous, if ever.
bobflint
The ability to steer through cones is harmless and relatively simple static objects. Whilst a big white tractor trailer should have been easily seen, as it came across the path of the vehicle... Having all the automotive manufacturer's and their suppliers agree to standards is part of the development problem, we haven't found yet what works even 99% of the time at a cost that the consumer can afford.
metalman
Boy, are Tata and Jaguar/Land Rover a bunch of weenies or what? Why have such an extensive trial program? Charge $2500 for the option, tell your customers it's a "beta" and encourage them to try it out and help develop the system capabilities. Plenty of youtube posts of drivers putting in their contact lenses while driving hands-free on the M1 or similar demos will help raise the early-adopter interest in the feature. I say get on with it. Whatever the actual accident rate, using the auto-drive system lowers death rates, QED.