Jaguar Land Rover testing self-driving cars on United Kingdom roads

Autonomous Land Rover

The UK's largest autonomous and connected auto trial has taken research onto public roads in Coventry, testing technology in real-life scenarios for the first time.

Last October, a pod heavily adapted from a compact Renault auto was the first autonomous auto to take to Britain's streets as part of government-backed trials aimed at seeing more widespread use of such vehicles by 2020.

Forming part of the £20m UK Autodrive project, JLR is testing a range of new technologies including cars that can talk to each other to improve safety.

The tests are aiming to enable driverless cars to replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving.

"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", Rogers said.

The JLR and TMETC autonomous vehicle research technology trials are being used to develop self-driving vehicle technology in a real-world setting, but with highly trained test operators supervising the cars at all times.

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.

Jaguar Land Rover goes driverless: Car giant kicks off its tests on British roads
Jaguar, Ford, Tata connected cars make their way to UK roads as part of trial

Additional tests on its self-driving vehicle technology will continue through next year in the city of Coventry, historically the hub of Britain's auto industry and home of JLR's headquarters. However, one of Waymo's staff will be present in the vehicle.

The company, as well as Ford Motor Co, both part of the Autodrive project, are also looking at systems which will allow cars to communicate with each other.

It has been testing the fully self-driving cars on public roads in the US state of Arizona.

When do you think autonomous cars will become the norm for everyday drivers?

There were no collisions or unexpected incidents but throughout the tests an experienced driver was in the vehicles ready to take control if required.

"In simulated emergencies, up to a third of drivers of automated vehicles did not recover the situation, whereas nearly all drivers of manual vehicles in the same situation were able to do so".

An automated and electric vehicles bill is now being debated in parliament to set out how new technologies will operate in Britain.

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