Land Rover take self-driving SUVs off-road with '5D' technology
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Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to develop autonomous cars capable of off-road driving in any condition.
The world-first ‘CORTEX’ project will take self-driving cars off-road with the aim of building a fully capable system in dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog.
As part of the project a ‘5D’ technique combining acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time is being engineered.
The company says the combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in and machine-learning enables the self-driving car to handle any weather condition on any terrain.
The CORTEX project will include work in algorithm development, sensor optimisation and physical testing on off-road tracks in the UK, run in colaboration with autonomous researchers from The University of Birmingham. CORTEX has also received Government funding as par of the 'Innovate UK' initiative.
The British car maker has also allocated $7.1m for the project, which is expected to enable level 4 and 5 off-road automation.
Jaguar Land Rover NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says the technology will be particularly applicable in the New Zealand market.
“Most autonomous vehicles under development utilise an infrastructure of clearly marked lanes and high speed data connectivity in order to safely navigate roads," said Kenchington.
“Less than two per cent of New Zealand’s land mass is categorised as a main urban area. This leaves a sizeable proportion of the country where existing self driving vehicle technology would not operate effectively."
“Jaguar Land Rover’s new research project will allow autonomous vehicles to move beyond the constraints of visible road markings opening the door on a new frontier of transport in any environmental conditions and terrain.”
Chris Holmes, connected and autonomous vehicle research manager at Jaguar Land Rover, says it's important for the company to develop self-driving vehicles that can operate off-road, where customers expect all Land Rovers to perform.
"Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation," said Holmes.
"CORTEX gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realise this vision in the near future.”