Jaguar Land Rover Revving Up Autonomous Research

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It sounds like Jaguar Land Rover is doubling down on autonomous driving. In the past week, two separate studies confirm as much.

According to MotorTrend, Jaguar Land Rover announced this week that they’ll be setting up a “living laboratory” on U.K. public roads to test autonomous and connected vehicle tech. A fleet of test vehicles will basically be talking to one another, exchanging data, and learning on the fly about traffic and hazards ahead.

According to a statement from Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, Dr. Wolfgang Epple:

“The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow. These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move.”

The U.K. government is helping to support the project with a roughly $4.9 million grant. The money will also go towards testing traffic flow management and cooperative adaptive cruise control technologies.

According to Fortune, Jaguar Land Rover are also testing data to help make autonomous driving less robotic. It’s part of a nearly $8 million study headed by Robert Bosch Group that hopes to “accelerate the development and deployment of automated driving systems.”

Among other goals, the study hopes to track how people drive under stressful conditions, like roundabouts, or when an ambulance is in the rear-view mirror. The data should help to make the autonomous systems drive more like a human.

Again, here’s Epple:

“Customers are much more likely to accept highly-automated and fully autonomous vehicles if the car reacts in the same way as the driver. By understanding and measuring positive driving behaviors we can ensure that an autonomous Jaguar or Land Rover of the future will not simply perform a robotic function.”

Bosch believes cars will be driving themselves on public freeways by 2020, if regulations don’t hinder the technology. So it makes sense that Jaguar is looking ahead towards the future, even if it sounds like a science fiction movie.

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Via [MotorTrend, Fortune]

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