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Jaguar Land Rover has revealed a range of innovative research technologies that will allow a future autonomous car to drive itself over any surface or terrain
The company demonstrated the new technology at its research centre in Warwickshire, UK. Jaguar Land Rover’s multi-million autonomous all-terrain driving research project aims to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of terrains, on- and off-road driving environments and weather conditions.
To enable this level of autonomous all-terrain capability, Jaguar Land Rover’s researchers are developing next-generation sensing technologies that will be the eyes of the car. The advanced sensing will ultimately give the vehicle the high levels of artificial intelligence required for the car to think for itself and plan its route.
Surface identification and 3D path sensing research combines camera, ultrasonic, radar and lidar sensors to give the car a 360 degree view and allow it to determine surface characteristics.
Ultrasonic sensors allow the car to identify surface conditions by scanning up to five metres ahead, so terrain response settings are automatically changed as it moves, optimising all-terrain performance, without loss of momentum or control.
Overhead clearance assist uses stereo camera technology to scan ahead for overhead obstructions while terrain-based speed adaption uses cameras to sense bumpy terrain including uneven and undulating surfaces and washboard roads, potholes and even standing water. Jaguar Land Rover has also designed a wireless vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications system that shares information including vehicle location, wheel-slip, changes to suspension height and other information instantly between vehicles, thereby allowing them to communicate with each other.
Jaguar Land Rover head of research Tony Harper said, “Our all-terrain autonomy research is not just about the car driving itself on a motorway or in extreme off-road situations. It is about helping both the driven and autonomous car make their way safely through any terrain or driving situation.”