Jaguar Land Rover testing a fleet of connected cars in the UK

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Jun 2018

The research fleet of connected cars talk to each other and the surroundings to improve safety, avoid accidents and prepare for self-driving

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is conducting a series of trials in the UK for creating the country’s first fully connected road infrastructure. The trials, which are part of the £7.1 million (Rs 63 crore) ‘UK CITE Project’, is aimed towards improving the capabilities of self-driving cars.

As part of the trial, JLR has retrofitted Discovery Sports, Range Rovers and F-Paces with a combination of wireless technologies. The research fleet of connected cars will have the ability to interact with each other and the surroundings to improve safety, avoid accidents and prepare for self-driving. Jaguar Land Rover will be trialling a range of intelligent connected features such as emergency electronic brake light warning (EEBL), emergency vehicle warning (EVW), and in-vehicle signage (IVS) for roadworks warning (RWW) and traffic condition warning (TCW).

As part of the project, the test will be conducted on a fully connected infrastructure that is geared towards self-driving cars. The ‘connected corridor’ comes with a combination of wireless technologies such as DSRC, 3/4G mobile networks, WiFi and fibre optic networks. The entire infrastructure of roads is being developed to ensure that the vehicles always remain connected to each other and to the infrastructure.

The latest connected technology complements other vehicle sensors and extends a vehicle’s ability to ‘see’ further down the road and ‘speak’ to other vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians and the network. Since the system will work on both manual and autonomous driving, it will greatly improve road safety across several levels of autonomy.

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover connectivity manager said, “Connectivity not only takes us a step closer to making self-driving cars a reality but it also creates the platform to bring more connected safety features to our customers within the next few years. We’re working with some fantastic global experts across industry and academia and we’re eager to take the project into this next phase of testing."

JLR asserts that the ‘UK CITE project’ forms part of the company’s vision to leverage connectivity as a segue to making the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on-and off-road driving conditions.