Land Rover heads driverless car trials

Land Rover heads driverless car trials

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Ford will start testing driverless cars on British roads from January 2015. The two companies are part of the UK Autodrive consortium, which has just won the £10m prize from the government's Introducing Driverless Cars competition.

A semi-autonomous Range Rover will take to the streets around Milton Keynes and Coventry to see how it will deal with everyday road conditions. UK Autodrive has confirmed that the aim is not to produce a 100% self-drive car but one capable of taking full control in certain conditions. Speaking about the exciting project, JLR's director of research and technology, Dr Wolfgang Epple, said: "To successfully introduce driverless cars, we actually need to focus on the driver, as well as pedestrians and other road users. So we are researching the HMI in cars and self-driving pods to ensure all road users understand, accept and support these new and exciting technologies. We need to give everyone the confidence that a car or pod driving around with little or no human input is a safe, viable and rewarding experience."

The consortium will assess and develop self-driving pods designed for pedestrian areas. JLR will help in the development of the HMI (human machine interface) and start trials in real life situations to see how the new cutting-edge technology copes.

The UK Autodrive consortium will be heavily involved in the study of self-drive feasibility, which will hopefully provide valuable data for car makers, cities, legislators, insurance companies and commercial organisations.