Jaguar Land Rover is testing smart, connected cars on UK roads to prepare for self-driving cars.
The tests on public roads are part of £7.1 million project aimed at creating the UK’s first fully connected infrastructure geared towards self-driving cars. More than 40 miles of the M40, M42, A45, and A46 will benefit from a world-first combination of wireless technologies (DSRC, 3/4G mobile networks, WiFi and fiber optic networks), ensuring vehicles can always be connected to each other and to infrastructure.
Connecting cars to each other and their surroundings (known as V2X) is a vital step for safe, large-scale deployment of self-driving cars. 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. For instance, warning that a car too far ahead to see has applied its brakes allows a following driver to avoid a potential accident. The system will work on both manual and autonomous driving and so will greatly improving road safety across levels of autonomy.
To realise the full benefit of self-driving cars, we need to understand the infrastructure that’s required to support them. 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.
— Colin Lee, JLR Connectivity Manager
Jaguar Land Rover will be trialing 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).
UK CITE is just one of the connected and autonomous projects which is helping Jaguar Land Rover to offer customers an increased choice of features while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This 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.
In related news, Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to open a new software, IT and engineering center in Manchester to support its strategy to introduce connected technologies in future vehicles. With technical innovation at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover, the new Manchester center will work alongside the company’s engineering teams at the Gaydon Pioneering Hub, Warwickshire, the global design, and engineering HQ, along with the Republic of Ireland, China, and North America.
The small team will pioneer new software technology to help create the next generation of future connected car technologies. In addition, it will work on a range of mobility services and developing new technology features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
As the automotive industry continues to embrace Autonomous, Connected and Electrified technologies, Jaguar Land Rover remains committed to engineering innovative software that will make our customers’ lives better, by creating premium in-car experiences that they love. With the Manchester team supporting the creation of connected car technology, the new centre is a fantastic opportunity for us to keep pushing the boundaries towards seamless connectivity, with disruptive technical solutions, and I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues into our Product Engineering team.
— Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering
Manchester is the UK’s second largest digital city and is recognized as a center of excellence for software engineers, particularly ‘over the air’ software skills. With a large skilled talent pool, Manchester has the ambition to be recognized as a leading global digital city region and top 5 in Europe by 2020. Drawing on this regional talent is essential to combat the current skills shortage that Jaguar Land Rover is attempting to overcome as it prepares for growth.
Jaguar Land Rover is working to create an ever-safer and enhanced driving experience. With more than 100 million lines of code per vehicle, we are revolutionizing our customers’ relationships with their vehicles. Each one is internet-enabled and connected, with smart features designed to remind, warn, support and be one step ahead, helping to make each journey safer and more enjoyable. We are delivering technologies that lead the way in connectivity and autonomy. For example, in the future, our vehicles will ‘talk’ to each other and notify drivers of potential hazards ahead.
Jaguar Land Rover is looking for IT specialists, software engineers and developers with experience in a range of disciplines such as cloud-based features, vehicle software and vehicle architecture.
Note: Press release courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.