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Connected cars prepare UK roads for self-driving

Jaguar Land Rover is testing smart, connected cars on UK roads to prepare for self-driving cars.

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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 fibre 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.

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover Connectivity Manager, said:

“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.”

Jaguar Land Rover will be trialling 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.

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Cars connect to traffic lights

New Jaguar Land Rover technology using Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) connects cars to traffic lights so drivers can avoid getting stuck at red and help free up traffic flow in cities.

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The world’s first traffic lights were installed exactly 150 years ago outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Since then drivers around the globe have spent billions of hours waiting for green. With Jaguar Land Rover’s latest tech, however, their days could be numbered.

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) system allows cars to “talk” to traffic lights and inform the driver the speed they should drive as they approach junctions or signals.

Widespread adoption of the V2X technology will prevent drivers from racing to beat the lights and improve air quality by reducing harsh acceleration or braking near lights. The goal is for the V2X revolution to create free-flowing cities with fewer delays and less commuter stress.

The connected technology is currently being trialed on a Jaguar F-PACE, as part of a £20 million (R371 million) collaborative research project.

Like all Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles today, the F-PACE already boasts a wide range of sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) features. The connected technology trials are enhancing existing ADAS features by increasing the line of sight of a vehicle when it is connected via the internet to other vehicles and infrastructure. GLOSA is being tested alongside a host of other measures to slash the time commuters spend in traffic.

For example, Intersection Collision Warning (ICW) alerts drivers when it is unsafe to proceed at a junction. ICW informs drivers if other cars are approaching from another road and can suggest the order in which cars should proceed at a junction.

Jaguar Land Rover has also addressed time lost to searching for a parking space by providing real-time information of available spaces to drivers and developed an Emergency Vehicle Warning to alert motorists when a fire engine, police car or ambulance is approaching. The advanced technology builds on the connected systems already available on the Jaguar F-PACE such as Adaptive Cruise Control.

Oriol Quintana-Morales, Jaguar Land Rover Connected Technology Research Engineer, said: “This cutting-edge technology will radically reduce the time we waste at traffic lights. It has the potential to revolutionise driving by creating safe, free-flowing cities that take the stress out of commuting. Our research is motivated by the chance to make future journeys as comfortable and stress-free as possible for all our customers.”

The trials are part of the £20 million government-funded project, UK Autodrive, which 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 connected technology as part of its pledge to deliver zero accidents, zero congestion and zero emissions.

Connected technology will link the vehicle to everything around it, allowing seamless, free-flowing traffic that will pave the way for delivering self-driving vehicles.

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Roborace reveals new vehicle

Roborace has given its fans a first look at what the new competition vehicle for Season Alpha will look like at the WebSummmit conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

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DevBot 2.0 utilizes sensors similar to that in Robocar and is also fully electric, but has the addition of a cockpit for a human driver.

Season Alpha will see teams comprising of both a human driver and an AI driver. Lap times from the duo will be compared with that of other human + machine teams to determine a winner.

DevBot 2.0 will be launched in the new year but Roborace CEO Lucas Di Grassi has shared some first glimpses of what 2019 holds for the series in an interview on stage at WebSummit.

Season Alpha will see teams compete starting in Spring 2019 using the DevBot 2.0 vehicles to develop their automated driving systems, with professional drivers teaching the AI how to improve, as well as learning from the AI how to better their own performance.

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