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Earlier this month, Google’s Waymo launched a trial program to allow the general public to use its driverless vehicles in limited areas around Phoenix, Arizona. General Motors, meanwhile, is still testing its Cruise autonomous vehicles on the crowded streets of San Francisco. Today, Jaguar Land Rover announced that it’s begun testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, making it among the first to do so in the U.K.
Testing is currently taking place on the roads of Coventry, near the Jaguar Land Rover headquarters. But JLR says it isn’t only testing autonomous technology. It’s also testing out both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure tech. That means that even before the vehicles become fully autonomous, it’s working to find ways for them to communicate with each other, as well as with traffic lights and other roadside infrastructure.
“Testing this self-driving project on public roads is so exciting, as the complexity of the environment allows us to find robust ways to increase road safety in the future. By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” said Nick Rogers, JLR’s head of product engineering, in a release. “Jaguar Land Rover is proud to be a leader in collaborative research projects for autonomous and connected cars. We are supporting innovative research that will be integral to the infrastructure, technology and legal landscape needed to make intelligent, self-driving vehicles a reality within the next decade.”
Earlier this year, JLR announced that it had completed tests of an autonomous Range Rover Sport on private roads in its Horiba Mira test facility. Previewing the Level 4 autonomous vehicle it hopes to begin selling within the next 10 years, the British automaker has said it doesn’t necessarily intend to replace the driver. It does, however, want to increase driver safety and automate the least enjoyable aspects of driving, like commuting in stop-and-go traffic.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover