A Range Rover Sport has completed the first ever self-driving lap of one of the UK’s most challenging road layouts. A prototype self-driving Range Rover Sport handled the complex Coventry Ring Road, successfully changing lanes, merging with traffic and exiting junctions at the speed limit of 40mph.
The trial is part of the £20 million government-funded project, UK Autodrive, which ends this month after a three-year programme. Jaguar Land Rover engineers have completed significant self-driving technology testing on closed tracks before heading onto public roads in Milton Keynes and Coventry.
The Range Rover Sport chosen for its performance and existing features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, has been modified to include additional navigation sensors, RADAR and LIDAR. Coupled with the UK Autodrive research, the vehicle can now autonomously handle roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads. It can also park itself.
Mark Cund, Jaguar Land Rover Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager, said: “The Coventry Ring Road is known for its complicated slip roads and exits. It makes for very challenging conditions, especially when under pressure in the rush hour.
“Our self-driving car is not impacted by the same pressure, frustrations or fatigue that a driver may experience and so it’s capable of turning a potentially very stressful situation into a completely stress-free one.”
Highly skilled Jaguar Land Rover engineers have also developed connected features as part of UK Autodrive. The safety-enhancing and emission reducing technology use the internet to connect vehicles to each other and to infrastructure such as traffic lights.
UK Autodrive has helped accelerate the development of Jaguar Land Rover’s future self-driving and connected technology. As well as strengthening the Midlands’ position as a hub of mobility innovation. Britain’s biggest car maker, headquartered in Coventry, is working on fully-and semi-automated vehicle technologies to offer the choice of an engaged or automated drive. The company’s vision is to make its self-driving vehicles the most capable in the widest range of terrain and weather conditions – always putting the customer in command with the option to resume control.
About Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports saloon and sports car marques.
We employ more than 44,000 people globally and support around 260,000 more through our retailer network, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing is centred in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, Austria and Slovakia.
At Jaguar Land Rover, we are driven by a desire to deliver class-leading vehicles, which will provide experiences our customers will love, for life. Our products are in demand around the globe. In 2017 Jaguar Land Rover sold 621,109 vehicles in 130 countries, with more than 80 per cent of our vehicles being sold abroad.
Our innovation is continuous: we will spend in the region of £4.5 billion this year on new product creation and capital expenditure.
From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles as well as continuing to offer ultra-clean petrol and diesel engines.
About UK Autodrive
UK Autodrive is the largest of three UK consortia launched to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK. UK Autodrive brings together leading technology and automotive businesses, forward-thinking local authorities and academic institutions to deliver a major three-year UK trial of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies taking place in Milton Keynes and Coventry. UK Autodrive is jointly funded by government and industry. The competition was delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For further information, see
Radar is an object-detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects.
Lidar is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target and therefore build high-resolution maps of the surroundings.
– ITV News Central