U.K.-based researchers at Jaguar Land Rover are developing new sensing and autonomous driving technologies designed to handle some of the most challenging driving situations, and the automaker recently showcased those capabilities.
Ever enter a small, cramped parking lot, only to discover all the spaces are occupied and you have to somehow turn around because the parking aisle dead-ends with no alternate exit? Or have you ever returned to your parked car to find another vehicle parked so close that the thought of backing up to leave creates anxiety? Even if you answered no to these questions, it’s a safe bet many of your fleet drivers would answer yes. And these are the kind of driving dilemmas that Jaguar Land Rover researchers are tackling.
Jaguar Land Rover’s U.K.-based research team has built a Remote Control Range Rover Sport test vehicle, which a driver can control outside the car using a smartphone. The driver can walk alongside the vehicle and use the phone app to control steering, brakes and throttle while monitoring the precise positioning of the vehicle, the automaker said. In this mode, the car travels at a maximum speed of 4 mph.
Additionally, the Multi-Point Turn Range Rover Sport test vehicle is capable of autonomously maneuvering through 180 degrees. The system takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to make as many forward and backward movements necessary to complete the maneuver.
“Getting a car out of a tricky parking maneuver can be a stressful experience for any driver,” said Dr. Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover. “A Remote Control car, or a vehicle that can autonomously turn in the road, demonstrates how we could use these technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.”
Such research not only helps advance autonomous vehicle technology; it also promises to “make real driving safer and more enjoyable,” Epple said. “The same sensors and systems that will help an autonomous car make the right decisions will assist the driver and enhance the experience to help prevent accidents. Autonomous car technologies will not take away the fun of driving.”
Jaguar Land Rover, part of the U.K. Autodrive consortium, is evaluating semi-autonomous driving features in a Range Rover research vehicle and is developing human machine interface (HMI) systems in autonomous transport pods.
To view a video demonstrating these technology advances, click on the photo or link below the headline.