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Jaguar plans electric future

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From 2020, all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles globally will be electrified to some degree the company announced at its inaugural Tech Fest in the UK.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020,” said Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer. “We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”

Jaguar Land Rover provided the following information:

The electric Jaguar E-type Zero future-proofs one of the world’s most famous cars. Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the E-type now combines breathtaking design with electric power for the first time. E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain for 0-100km/h in just 5.5sec. It was engineered by Jaguar Classic at the company’s new Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK.

Jaguar I-PACE Concept

With I-PACE we started with a clean sheet and engineered a bespoke, tailored, pure electric SUV from the ground up, creating a beautiful design with everyday practicality. It’s a performance SUV, it looks stunning, is great to drive and will be on sale next year.

Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE

The Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE is a vision for the car of 2040 and beyond. The fully autonomous virtual concept explores mobility for the connected world of tomorrow, where vehicles could be shared not owned.

With Future Type’s interface, you can separately access your different digital orbits of work, family or play, dialling up what you do need, and dialling down what you don’t.

At its heart is Sayer – the intelligent steering wheel that will revolutionise the way you live your life. Named after Malcolm Sayer, designer of the E-type, this steering wheel doesn’t just stay in your car – it lives in your home and becomes your trusted companion.

Sayer is the first voice activated AI steering wheel that will be able to carry out hundreds of tasks. The advanced speech recognition software will allow it to answer your questions, connect you to the news, organise your travel and select your entertainment.

Sayer knows what’s in your fridge and can even order your shopping or a pizza. You will never run out of milk again. It will be your go-to device. It is not just the ‘key’ to your car, it’s your membership card for our on-demand service club. A club which offers either sole ownership or the option of sharing the car with others in your community.

For our customers, driving is about much more than getting from A to B. It’s about living life from A to Z. You will always be able to experience the sheer thrill of driving with the option to take the wheel. But this is a steering wheel like never before.

Alongside Jaguar’s past, present and future, Tech Fest 2017 also showcases the following stories:

Recruiting for the future with Gorillaz

Jaguar Land Rover does not do ordinary recruitment. Gorillaz and Jaguar Land Rover have teamed up again to continue the search for world-class talent at Tech Fest. Fans interested in an engineering career at Jaguar Land Rover are invited to the physical ‘pop-up’ version of the Gorillaz garage to take part in a live challenge to test their technical ability, logical-thinking and memory. Successful players will be first in the queue for a chance to work at Jaguar Land Rover.

For those unable to make it to London, the Gorillaz app coding challenge remains open worldwide. In a major change to the way Jaguar Land Rover looks for candidates, fans are challenged to take part in a series of code-breaking puzzles to test curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem-solving – all real-world skills the new generation of software and engineering talent must have.

Waste to Wave

This project has produced the first surfboard made from 100 per cent recycled polyurethane plastic, created from design studio waste. The surfboard, produced in partnership with eco-friendly manufacturer Skunkworks – was recently tested by Lucy Campbell, the UK’s top female surfer.

Lucy said: “The ocean is a big part of my life so helping to raise awareness of the need to preserve it is so important to me. I didn’t know much about the car design process and it’s been fascinating to learn about how Jaguar Land Rover is giving a ‘second life’ to its materials in this way. Getting out into the water and trying the board out for the first time was awesome.”

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to achieve zero waste to landfill and the ‘Waste to Wave’ project is one of a number of innovative recycling initiatives which give a second life to materials previously destined for landfill. Plans are in place to create production versions of the surfboard.

Autonomy in the real world (Range Rover Sport)

We’re already testing driverless cars in the real world. Autonomous Urban Drive can enable a vehicle to operate without a driver through a city, obeying traffic lights as well as negotiating T-junctions and roundabouts.

Designed and developed in the UK, this research technology is already in use in a Range Rover Sport and takes us a step closer to achieving level four autonomy in Jaguar Land Rover’s future vehicles within the next decade.

Your digital butler

The new Range Rover Velar is designed to take you further. Enhance your life. It contains intelligent technology in the form of its quad core processor; the brains behind the beauty of the Velar.

The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system incorporates two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens. We call this tailored technology Blade – your own digital butler. You can interact with your car from anywhere in the world. You can start it with your smartphone, lock or unlock it, locate it, check your fuel levels or even warm the cabin up before you get in.

Blade learns your daily drive, anticipates your needs, serves what you want, when you want it… but never intrudes.

E-PACE: Jaguar’s new cub

The Jaguar E-PACE is a seriously smart, compact performance SUV. Designed and engineered to be beautiful, fun and clever, it is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar. It’s a perfectly 21st-century car: connected, modern, practical and utterly engaging to drive. It’s beautiful to look at, fun to get to know and possessing a soul and integrity that can only come from Jaguar.

Land Rover Discovery Project Hero

‘Project Hero’ – a bespoke Land Rover Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross.

Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), Project Hero is an advanced communications vehicle featuring a roof-mounted drone with the ability to land when the vehicle is in motion, as well as a number of other features to enhance the capability of the already robust Land Rover Discovery.

Project Hero was created to support Jaguar Land Rover’s partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network. It is currently being trialled by the Austrian Red Cross’ emergency response teams, with a view to helping save lives by speeding up response times to disasters.

Lighting Up Lives

Jaguar Land Rover will be lighting up the lives of 1.2 million people by 2020. Working with Climate Care, we are providing clean, safe, renewable solar-powered lamps to families in Kenya, giving up to four hours of additional light every evening. These lamps not only allow children to study and families to socialise together into the hours of darkness; they will save money on fuel, and crucially, prevent exposure to the dangerous fumes produced by the kerosene lamps many still use today.

By enabling villagers to work for longer at home, the lamps also foster economic independence. In time, families could be able to afford their own solar lamps, creating a virtuous circle of social and economic benefits.

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Project Bloodhound saved

The British project to break the world landspeed record at a site in the Northern Cape has been saved by a new backer, after it went into bankruptcy proceedings in October.

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Two weeks ago,  and two months after entering voluntary administration, the Bloodhound Programme Limited announced it was shutting down. This week it announced that its assets, including the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), had been acquired by an enthusiastic – and wealthy – supporter.

“We are absolutely delighted that on Monday 17th December, the business and assets were bought, allowing the Project to continue,” the team said in a statement.

“The acquisition was made by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst. Ian is a mechanical engineer by training, with a strong background in managing a highly successful business in the automotive engineering sector, so he will bring a lot of expertise to the Project.”

Warhurst and his family, says the team, have been enthusiastic Bloodhound supporters for many years, and this inspired his new involvement with the Project.

“I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets preventing the project breakup,” he said. “I know how important it is to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, and I want to ensure Bloodhound can continue doing that into the future.

“It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks I have received in the last few days.”

The record attempt was due to be made late next year at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert, where retired pilot Andy Green planned to beat the 1228km/h land-speed record he set in the United States in 1997. The target is for Bloodhound to become the first car to reach 1000mph (1610km/h). A track 19km long and 500 metres wide has been prepared, with members of the local community hired to clear 16 000 tons of rock and stone to smooth the surface.

The team said in its announcement this week: “Although it has been a frustrating few months for Bloodhound, we are thrilled that Ian has saved Bloodhound SSC from closure for the country and the many supporters around the world who have been inspired by the Project. We now have a lot of planning to do for 2019 and beyond.”

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Motor Racing meets Machine Learning

The futuristic car technology of tomorrow is being built today in both racing cars and
toys, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The car of tomorrow, most of us imagine, is being built by the great automobile manufacturers of the world. More and more, however, we are seeing information technology companies joining the race to power the autonomous vehicle future.

Last year, chip-maker Intel paid $15.3-billion to acquire Israeli company Mobileye, a leader in computer vision for autonomous driving technology. Google’s autonomous taxi division, Waymo, has been valued at $45-billion.

Now there’s a new name to add to the roster of technology giants driving the future.

DeepRacer on the inside

Amazon Web Services, the world’s biggest cloud computing service and a subsidiary of Amazon.com,  last month unveiled a scale model autonomous racing car for developers to build new artificial intelligence applications. Almost in the same breath, at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, it showcased the work being done with machine learning in Formula 1 racing.

AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale fully autonomous race car, designed to incorporate the features and behaviour of a full-sized vehicle. It boasts all-wheel drive, monster truck tires, an HD video camera, and on-board computing power. In short, everything a kid would want of a self-driving toy car.

But then, it also adds everything a developer would need to make the car autonomous in ways that, for now, can only be imagined. It uses a new form of machine learning (ML), the technology that allows computer systems to improve their functions progressively as they receive feedback from their activities. ML is at the heart of artificial intelligence (AI), and will be core to autonomous, self-driving vehicles.

AWS has taken ML a step further, with an approach called reinforcement learning. This allows for quicker development of ML models and applications, and DeepRacer is designed to allow developers to experiment with and hone their skill in this area. It is built on top of another AWS platform, called Amazon SageMaker, which enables developers and data scientists to build, train, and deploy machine learning quickly and easily.

Along with DeepRacer, AWS also announced the DeepRacer League, the world’s first global autonomous racing league, open to anyone who orders the scale model from AWS.

DeepRacer on the outside

As if to prove that DeepRacer is not just a quirky entry into the world of motor racing, AWS also showcased the work it is doing with the Formula One Group. Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s managing director of Motor Sports, joined AWS CEO Andy Jassy during the keynote address at the re:Invent conference, to demonstrate how motor racing meets machine learning.

“More than a million data points a second are transmitted between car and team during a Formula 1 race,” he said. “From this data, we can make predictions about what we expect to happen in a wheel-to-wheel situation, overtaking advantage, and pit stop advantage. ML can help us apply a proper analysis of a situation, and also bring it to fans.

“Formula 1 is a complete team contest. If you look at a video of tyre-changing in a pit stop – it takes 1.6 seconds to change four wheels and tyres – blink and you will miss it. Imagine the training that goes into it? It’s also a contest of innovative minds.”

AWS CEO Andy Jassy unveils DeepRacer

Formula 1 racing has more than 500 million global fans and generated $1.8 billion in revenue in 2017. As a result, there are massive demands on performance, analysis and information. 

During a race, up to 120 sensors on each car generate up to 3GB of data and 1 500 data points – every second. It is impossible to analyse this data on the fly without an ML platform like Amazon SageMaker. It has a further advantage: the data scientists are able to incorporate 65 years of historical race data to compare performance, make predictions, and provide insights into the teams’ and drivers’ split-second decisions and strategies.

This means Formula 1 can pinpoint how a driver is performing and whether or not drivers have pushed themselves over the limit.

“By leveraging Amazon SageMaker and AWS’s machine-learning services, we are able to deliver these powerful insights and predictions to fans in real time,” said Pete Samara, director of innovation and digital technology at Formula 1.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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