LAND ROVER CARS CLOSER TO DRIVING CITY STREETS AUTONOMOUSLY
Land Rover has demonstrated prototype autonomous technology called Autonomous Urban Drive, which can enable a vehicle to operate autonomously through a city, obeying traffic lights as well as negotiating T-junctions and roundabouts.
This research technology is a step closer to achieving ‘level four’ autonomy in Land Rover’s future vehicles within the next decade.
Level four autonomous vehicles are capable of carrying out the entire driving task for specific environments such as towns and cities without any driver intervention. Using the Autonomous Urban Drive prototype technology, passengers can select a location and the Range Rover Sports research vehicle will decide the best route. It can navigate a complex urban environment which is being trialed at the HORIBA MIRA proving ground. Land Rover is developing both fully- and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies to offer customers a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. The company’s vision is to make the autonomous car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.
“The automotive landscape is changing faster today than ever before. As a technology company, our innovation is continuous and our cars of the future will become more capable, cleaner, more connected, more desirable and smarter,” said Tony Harper, Director of Engineering Research, Land Rover.
“Our Autonomous Urban Drive research is Land Rover’s next step in our development of both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies. However, we aren’t looking at simply replacing the driver, and making cars ‘driverless’. Future technologies will give the driver more not less – they will assist and ultimately enhance the driving experience.”
Autonomous Urban Drive is being demonstrated as part of the £20 million UK Autodrive research and development project, which is pushing the UK to the forefront of connected and autonomous innovation. Land Rover is working with Ford and Tata Motors’ European Technical Centre testing connected technologies that will allow cars to talk to each other, as well as to the roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights.
Following the final trials at HORIBA MIRA’s Midlands proving ground today, the first set of trials on public roads are due in Milton Keynes and Coventry by the end of this year. These will initially take place on closed roads before evolving into open-road trials and demonstrations as the project draws to a close in the middle of 2018.
Connected vehicle technologies:
Intersection Collision Risk Warning (ICRW) warns the driver in advance when it is not safe to enter an intersection because of a high probability of a collision. ICRW could reduce the number (and severity) of collisions and reduce congestion.
In Vehicle Signage (IVS) sends road and traffic information such as roadworks or a change of speed limit directly to the car’s display, minimising dependence on physical roadside signs. This connected technology aims to reduce accidents and congestion.
Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) tells drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching, and from which direction. This connected technology aims to improve safety, reduce journey time for the emergency vehicle and cut congestion by helping drivers pull over more quickly and less stressfully.
About UK Autodrive
UK Autodrive is a consortium of leading technology and automotive businesses, local authorities and academic institutions working together on a three-year UK trial of connected and autonomous technologies, before moving out onto closed-off areas of Milton Keynes and Coventry in late 2017. The Autodrive project will culminate in a series of open road trials and demonstrations in both cities in 2018. It is helping establish the UK as a global hub for research, development and integration of automated and connected vehicles into society. It will also investigate other aspects of automated driving, including safety, cyber-security, legal and insurance issues as well as the public’s acceptance of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Levels of autonomy
Level 0 - No Automation: There is no automation, the driver is in sole control of the vehicle.
Level 1 - Driver Assistance: The driver has assistance for one function eg cruise control.
Level 2 - Partial Automation: The driver has assistance for two functions eg speed and steering such as Traffic Jam Assist.
Level 3 - Conditional Automation: The car undertakes normal driving functions autonomously in a specific environment but the driver may be required to retake control if the environment is too challenging.
Level 4 - High Automation: The car can operate independently in specific environments such as urban environments or motorways, without any driver intervention.
Level 5 - Full Automation: No human control of the vehicle is needed. The vehicle can complete a journey without any human intervention.