Jaguar Land Rover’s UK based research team has showcased some of their research into autonomous driving. The new technologies included a remote controlled Range Rover Sport which showed how drivers could drive their car from outside the vehicle. Using a smartphone app, drivers would be able to control such things as steering, accelerator and brakes from their mobile phones.
The new app would also allow Range Rover Sport owners to walk alongside the car at 4mph to help manoeuvre out of tight situations safely. They would also be able to guide the car over tough off-road obstacles whilst outside. The new app could be able to help with parking, allowing drivers to use their smartphones to reverse the car out of tight spots. The remote control function will only operate if the driver is within 10 metres of the car so it can detect the smart key. The function will stop if the driver moves further than the allowed 10 metres. The remote control function is only the beginning of the research process with future options including voice commands, where the driver says a simple command into the handset and the car does the rest.
Another exciting development is Jaguar Land Rover's 'Multi-Point Turn' Range Rover Sport which is capable of manoeuvring 180degrees autonomously. It is hoped the new multi-turn point will allow drivers to get themselves out of difficult situations such as dead end roads and busy car parks. The new autonomous system works by using sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects. The system takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to make as many forward and backwards movements as necessary to achieve the manoeuvre.
Dr Wolfgang Epple who is the Director of Research at JLR said of the new autonomous technology: “ Research into technologies like these won't only help us deliver an autonomous car. They will help make real driving safer and more enjoyable. 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."