Jaguar Land Rover goes Off-Road with its Autonomous Technology
Are they going off-road, or off-track?by Sidd, on
Although Jaguar Land Rover seems to be silently developing its autonomous technology, it is actually leading itself into the no-tarmac region. Forget about getting ferried driverless on the highways; with an investment of $4.9 million, JLR plans to take you off-road without one! Why use your technology on the roads when you can go off the beaten path?
Can it pull itself out of a deep puddle as well?
Called “Cortex,” the project aims to develop Level 4 and 5 Automation for off-roading purposes.
JLR is fusing its off-roading expertise with autonomous technology. Called “Cortex,” the project aims to develop Level 4 and 5 Automation for off-roading purposes. This project is very challenging because most autonomous technologies heavily rely on the precise digital mapping of public roadways and things like the ability to read road signs, speed limits, lane marking, etc. The Cortex project uses acoustic, video, radar, light detection, and distance sensing (LiDAR) data to venture off-road with little or no driver intervention at all.
Chris Holmes, head of JLR’s connected and autonomous vehicle research program, said “It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers. Self-driving is inevitable for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation. CORTEX gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realize this vision in the near future.”
We expect Land Rover beasts to share the technology with Jaguar SUVs as well; especially knowing that it’s expanding its portfolio.
With such an investment, JLR would only hope for positive results. At a time when no automaker or company has perfected autonomous technology even on highways and city-roads, JLR has made a very brave move by trying it on rough-and-tough terrains (Why just be a sheep in the herd, right?). While they make some of the best off-road SUVs, this is quite a risky move; but as they say – High risks, high rewards. If JLR successfully gets this going, it will arguably be the undisputed champion of autonomous technology.
On a side note, there haven’t been any prototypes spotted, nor has a timeframe been set. However, we expect Land Rover beasts to share the technology with Jaguar SUVs as well; especially knowing that it’s expanding its portfolio. It looks like JLR is going where no man has gone before, quite literally!
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