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Jaguar Land Rover in two UK projects worth ~$16M to advance connected and autonomous vehicle technology

Jaguar Land Rover is participating in two new projects in the UK worth a combined £11 million (US$15.7 million) to advance connected and autonomous vehicle technology. The £5.5-million (US$7.9-million) UK-CITE (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads in the UK.

The three year £5.5-million MOVE-UK project, which is led by Bosch, is intended to help future autonomous vehicles drive naturally—more like human drivers rather than like robots. The project will also help develop future insurance policies for automated vehicles

UK-CITE. The 41-mile Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) test corridor will be used to evaluate new systems in real-world driving conditions. New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three year project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles.

The project will test four main connectivity technologies: 4G-based LTE (Long Term Evolution), DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications), LTE-V (a more advanced version of LTE) and local WiFi hotspots.

UK-CITE consortium members include Jaguar Land Rover, Visteon, Siemens, Coventry City Council, WMG, University of Warwick, HORIBA MIRA, Coventry University, and Vodafone.

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced the UK Government’s support for the UK-CITE research with a £3.41 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding for collaborative research is part of the Government’s £100-million (US$143-million) Connected and Autonomous Vehicles fund.

Connected technologies are key enablers for future Intelligent Transport Systems. These would help traffic authorities monitor and manage traffic flow by capturing data from all connected vehicles and then provide the driver or autonomous car with guidance to optimise the journey.

To improve traffic flow, connected cars could co-operate and work together to make lane changing and exiting from junctions more efficient and safer. Technologies such as Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) would enable vehicles to autonomously follow each other in close formation, known as platooning, making driving safer and ensuring road space is used more efficiently.

In the future, warning messages that are today flashed onto an overhead gantry above a road could be sent direct to the dashboard, and repeated if necessary. This would have the potential to eventually replace the overhead gantry, which each cost around £1 million (US$1.4 million) to install.

The Jaguar Land Rover research team will be real-world testing a range of Over the Horizon warning systems. As well as warning drivers, these would inform future autonomous vehicles, helping them react and respond to hazards and changing traffic conditions automatically.

A well-informed driver is a safer driver, while an autonomous vehicle will need to receive information about the driving environment ahead. The benefits of smarter vehicles communicating with each other and their surroundings include a car sending a warning that it is braking heavily or stopping in a queue of traffic or around a bend. This will enable an autonomous car to take direct action and respond. Drivers would receive a visual and audible warning that another car is causing a hazard out of sight or over the horizon.

The approach of an emergency vehicle can often be stressful for drivers. If we can inform the driver, or the autonomous car, much earlier that an emergency vehicle is approaching, we can ensure that the best decisions are made to move the vehicle out of the way safely and conveniently, to let the emergency vehicle pass by.

—Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover’s Emergency Vehicle Warning system would identify that a connected ambulance, fire engine or police car is approaching through car-to-car communication. The driver would then receive a warning, long before flashing lights and sirens are audible or visible.

MOVE-UK. A fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be driven daily by employees of the London Borough of Greenwich to establish how a range of different drivers react to real-world driving situations, including heavy traffic, busy junctions, road works and bad weather.

Data from sensors in these cars will reveal the natural driving behaviors and decision-making that drivers make while driving, including complex and stressful scenarios. These include giving way at roundabouts and intersections, how drivers ease forward at junctions to enter a flow of traffic, or how they react to an emergency vehicle coming up behind their car whilst in a traffic jam.

Insurance experts will provide their expertise on the liability of certain scenarios using the real-world driving data supplied by the fleet of test cars.

The UK Government is supporting the MOVE-UK research with a £2.75-million (US$3.9-million) grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding for collaborative research is part of the Government’s £100m Connected and Autonomous Vehicles fund.

To successfully introduce autonomous cars, we actually need to focus more on the driver than ever before. Understanding how drivers react to a range of very dynamic and random situations in the real world is essential if we want drivers to embrace autonomous cars in the future.

—Dr. Epple

Drivers will need to completely trust the vehicle before they opt-in and engage automated systems. If an autonomous car can be programmed to have a very similar reaction to a real driver, then the autonomous experience will be more natural, and the driver more likely to allow the car to take control, the consortium partners reason.

Customers are much more likely to accept highly-automated and fully autonomous vehicles if the car reacts in the same way as the driver. By understanding and measuring positive driving behaviors we can ensure that an autonomous Jaguar or Land Rover of the future will not simply perform a robotic function.

Ultimately we want to be able to give drivers the choice of an engaged or autonomous drive. If drivers have confidence in the automation they will seamlessly flick from one mode to the other. Autonomous mode will help with any challenging, or less stimulating activities on the journey, like parking or driving in heavy traffic. If this automated experience feels natural and safe, the driver will be able to genuinely relax and will be happy to let the car take control.

—Dr. Epple

The MOVE-UK consortium is led by Bosch and includes Jaguar Land Rover, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Direct Line, the London Borough of Greenwich and The Floow.



One more serious player will increase competition and accelerate the arrival of autonomous drive vehicles?

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