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.