In an attempt to aid the development and testing of autonomous technology, Jaguar Land Rover has plans to create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles to test Connected and Autonomous Vehicle technologies.
The first set of tests will involve vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other and then to road signs, gantries and traffic lights. These areas of development will look to enhance data sharing between vehicles so that self-driving cars can communicate on the roads and allow for simple movements through traffic.
Three main features that are being focused on are Roadwork Assist, Safe Pullaway and Over the Horizon Warning systems, which will aim to keep JLR vehicles on track, as well as Emergency Vehicle Warning.
Roadwork Assist uses a forward-facing camera to create a 3D image of the road in front and combined with advanced image processing software, it recognises cones and barriers in the path. The system will detect the start of the roadworks and direct the driver through the obstructions and also apply small steering movements to keep the car central in the lane.
With the use of the stereo camera, Safe Pullaway detects any obstacles in front, such as walls, garage doors and parked cars, and if the driver presses the accelerator or engages a gear that could cause an accident, the brakes are automatically applied and the driver is alerted.
Over the Horizon Warning uses the communication aspect of the development, as it would allow vehicles to transfer data on dangerous roads and can warn other road users of obstacles or hazards before they can even see them. This can also be used alongside Emergency Vehicle Warning, which detects the noise of emergency vehicles and gives warnings to cars so they can prepare for the emergency services driving through and can reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Of course these systems are vital to effective autonomous transport but have a role to play in enhancing safety in regular vehicles too, and as they develop it's likely we will see them on upcoming Jaguar cars soon.