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JLR invests in UK road 'laboratory' to test future technologies

02 February 2016

Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a 41 mile ‘living laboratory’ project on UK roads to develop new connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies.

The new CAV test corridor, which includes 41 miles of roads around Coventry and Solihull, will be used to evaluate new systems in real-world driving conditions.

The £5.5m ‘UK-CITE’ (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads in the UK. New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three year project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles.

This fleet will test a range of different communication technologies1 that could share information at very high speeds between cars, and between cars and roadside infrastructure, including traffic lights and overhead gantries.

Connected technologies are key enablers for future Intelligent Transport Systems. These would help traffic authorities monitor and manage traffic flow by capturing data from all connected vehicles and then provide the driver or autonomous car with guidance to optimise the journey.

To improve traffic flow, connected cars could co-operate and work together to make lane changing and exiting from junctions more efficient and safer. Technologies like Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) would enable vehicles to autonomously follow each other in close formation, known as platooning, making driving safer and ensuring road space is used more efficiently. 

In the future, warning messages that are today flashed onto an overhead gantry above a road could be sent direct to the dashboard – and repeated if necessary. This would have the potential to eventually replace the overhead gantry, which each cost around £1m to install.

The Jaguar Land Rover research team will be real-world testing a range of ‘Over the Horizon’ warning systems. As well as warning drivers, these would inform future autonomous vehicles, helping them react and respond to hazards and changing traffic conditions automatically. 


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