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Jaguar Land Rover to lead UK driverless car trials

Latest Motor News // 12 December 2014

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UK Autodrive consortium win Government funding and will begin testing cars on roads in the UK from January next year.

The two manufacturers, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford, along with Coventry council, Milton Keynes council, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the Open University, AXA insurance and other companies are part of the consortium (called UK Autodrive) that has won the Government’s £10m ‘Introducing Driverless Cars’ competition.

This will see a semi-autonomous Range Rover tested in real world conditions on roads around Coventry and Milton Keynes, though UK Autodrive has said that the aim is not full autonomy, but a passenger car that is capable of being autonomous for part of the time.

The group will also develop and evaluate lightweight self-driving pods designed for pedestrianised spaces. Jaguar Land Rover‘s researchers will then help develop the Human Machine Interface (HMI) strategy and lead the real-world trials of these technologies in these pods.

The group will also carry out a number of feasability stuidies in order to provide insights for vehicle manufacturers, cities, commercial operators, legislators and insurers to develop the legal framework for the roll-out of autonomous mobility.

Tim Armitage, UK Autodrive Project Director, Arup, said: “The UK Autodrive consortium brings together world-class expertise that will help the UK position itself as a leader in the development and adoption of autonomous driving technologies.”

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “To successfully introduce driverless cars, we actually need to focus on the driver, as well as pedestrians and other road users.

“So we are researching the HMI in cars and self-driving pods to ensure all road users understand, accept and support these new and exciting technologies. We need to give everyone the confidence that a car or pod driving around with little or no human input is a safe, viable and rewarding experience.”

Are you happy to see self-driving cars on UK roads? Let us know your thoughts…

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