Jaguar Land Rover plans to create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles over the next four years, to develop and test a wide range of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. The first of these research cars will be driven on a new 41 mile test route on motorways and urban roads around Coventry and Solihull throughout 2016.
The initial tests will involve vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies that will allow cars to not only talk to each other, but also roadside signs, overhead gantries and traffic lights. Ultimately, data sharing between vehicles would allow future connected cars to co-operate and work together to assist the driver and make lane changing and crossing junctions easier and safer.
Tony Harper, Head of Research, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents. We will also improve the driving experience, with drivers able to choose how much support and assistance they need. In traffic, for example, the driver could choose autonomy assist during tedious or stressful parts of the journey.
The research project will test a number of technologies including; Safe Pullaway, a technology that uses a stereo camera to monitor the area immediately in front of the vehicle, helping to limit low speed collisions, avoid getting too close to the vehicle in front in traffic jams and prevent drivers hitting walls, garage doors or parked cars because they mistakenly put the vehicle into drive instead of reverse when attempting to pull away. If objects such as vehicles or walls are detected, and the system receives signals from throttle pedal activation or from gear selection that could lead to a collision, the vehicle brakes are automatically applied and the driver receives an audible warning.
In addition to the above, Over the Horizon Warning is part of a research project testing devices that use radio signals to transmit relevant data from vehicle to vehicle. If vehicles were able to communicate independently, drivers and autonomous cars could be warned of hazards and obstacles over the horizon or around blind bends.
If a vehicle has slowed or stopped, and poses a risk to other motorists, it would send a ‘Hazard Ahead’ warning to nearby vehicles. Approaching vehicles will then receive a visual and audible warning, informing the driver of the hazard.
Emergency Vehicle Warning allows connected ambulances, police cars or fire engines to communicate with other vehicles on the road: a device in the emergency vehicle would broadcast that it is approaching before the driver could see or hear flashing lights and sirens allowing drivers to safely pull over and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. This advanced warning would also minimise delays for the emergency services and prevent accidents.