JLR is the first British company which has started testing the autonomous or driver-less technology on public roads. Such test cars were previously confined to only closed roads as well as tracks for public safety, and have been allowed on open roads for very short demonstration purposes.
The Chief Executive Officer of JLR, Ralf Speth said that there are great opportunities and the upcoming mobility revolution will profoundly change lives.
As part of the UK Autodrive conglomerate, Jaguar Land Rover models are driving a tough half-mile route on Coventry’s roads which have mixed use. The fully automated test cars are relying on the pack of sensors onboard to react to various driving conditions such as traffic, signals, pedestrians, although human driver is always on board to take over the controls in any emergency.
Testing on actually public roads is crucial for all automobiles and especially the automated vehicles, as there are various challenging driving conditions. And as autonomous vehicles are intended to require minimal or no interventions from human drivers, make it essential that these vehicles go through rigorous road tests to ensure safety and proficiency. Currently, all the autonomous vehicles from various global auto giants are going through long and extensive testing, while very few have managed to actually get on public roads. JLR is one of first companies in the world to have commenced actual road testing of its driver-less car technology. However, we do not expect any autonomous cars to hit the market anytime before 2020.
Britain is planning go big on autonomous vehicles, and the country’s decisions are expected to offer a major boost to its economy. The British Government has also announced policies in 2016 which intend to minimize restrictions on self-driving cars.
Several global automotive companies are working intensively on self-driving car technology. American auto major, Ford is busy developing technology that will let vehicles communicate with each other. For instance, if one car has to slam on the brakes, its connected communication system will warn the other cars behind it about it to avoid collision.
Japanese car majors such as Nissan, Honda, Toyota, while other luxury giants like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW are all working tirelessly to bring out amazing autonomous cars and are currently showcasing fascinating concepts.
Very recently, tech giant Google’s Waymo brought out its first self-driving cars without any back-up driver at its wheel. The company tested the autonomous prototypes in Arizona with the Waymo employees simply taking a ride in the cars sitting in the rear seats with no access to the controls, but with access to an emergency stop button.