Jaguar Land Rover’s autonomous Range Rover Sport has become the first autonomous vehicle to drive itself round what it calls one of the most challenging journeys in the UK – a full circuit of the Coventry Ring Road.
The demonstration was part of the £20 million government-funded UK Autodrive project, in which around a dozen cars and pods took part.
Mark Cund, Jaguar Land Rover’s 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 stress-free one.”
The Range Rover Sport was chosen for its existing autonomous features, such as adaptive cruise control, but was also modified to include additional navigation sensors, radar and lidar.
Jaguar says the vehicle can now autonomously handle roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads. It can also park itself.
Tests such as these will enable companies and agencies in the sector to develop technologies for what many believe will be connected and autonomous motoring future.