Self-driv­ing car takes first ride on Cov ring road

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By ENDA MULLEN

COVEN­TRY’S ring road might be the kind of lay­out to send a shiver down even the most ex­pe­ri­enced driver’s spine but a self-driv­ing car has taken it in its stride.

The first self-driv­ing cir­cuit of one of the UK’s most chal­leng­ing road lay­outs has been com­pleted by a Range Rover Sport.

The high-tech ve­hi­cle re­peated its nav­i­ga­tion of the no­to­ri­ous ring road as part of a pub­lic demon­stra­tion of au­ton­o­mous and con­nected ve­hi­cles on Mon­day.

The SUV han­dled the com­plex lay­out with ease, chang­ing lanes, merg­ing with traf­fic and ex­it­ing junc­tions up to the ring road speed limit of 40mph.

The demon­stra­tion formed part of the £20 mil­lion govern­ment-funded project, UK Au­to­drive, which ends this month af­ter a three-year run.

The project saw Jaguar Land Rover com­plete ex­ten­sive self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy test­ing on closed tracks, in­clud­ing one at HORIBAMIRA near Nuneaton, be­fore head­ing on to pub­lic roads in Coven­try and Mil­ton Keynes.

The Range Rover Sport’s ex­ist­ing Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol was mod­i­fied to in­clude ad­di­tional nav­i­ga­tion sen­sors, RADAR and LIDAR.

Cou­pled with the UK Au­to­drive re­search, it en­sured the high-tech ve­hi­cle could au­tonomously han­dle round­abouts, traf­fic lights, pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and other ve­hi­cles on com­pli­cated roads. It is also ca­pa­ble of park­ing it­self.

Mark Cund, Jaguar Land Rover au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle re­search man­ager, said: “The Coven­try ring road is known for its com­pli­cated slip roads and ex­its. It makes for very chal­leng­ing con­di­tions, es­pe­cially when un­der pres­sure in the rush hour.

“Our self-driv­ing car is not im­pacted by the same pres­sure, frus­tra­tions or fa­tigue that a driver may ex­pe­ri­ence and so it’s ca­pa­ble of turn­ing a po­ten­tially very stress­ful sit­u­a­tion into a com­pletely stress­free one.” Jaguar Land Rover en­gi­neers have also de­vel­oped con­nected fea­tures as part of UK Au­to­drive.

The safety-en­hanc­ing and emis­sion re­duc­ing tech­nol­ogy use the in­ter­net to con­nect ve­hi­cles to each other and to in­fra­struc­ture such as traf­fic lights.

UK Au­to­drive has helped ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of Jaguar Land Rover’s self-driv­ing and con­nected tech­nol­ogy, which it plans to fit to ve­hi­cles in due course.

The Coven­try car maker is work­ing on fully-and semi­au­to­mated ve­hi­cle tech­nolo­gies to of­fer the choice of an en­gaged or au­to­mated drive.

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