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Jaguar showcase remote controlled Range Rover Sport

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 09:45

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Jaguar Land Rover’s vision is to create driver-focussed autonomous technologies to enhance the driving experience

Jaguar Land Rover has revealed some of the prototype technologies that its UK-based research team are developing to deliver autonomous driving in the future.

A Remote Control Range Rover Sport research vehicle demonstrates how a driver could drive the vehicle from outside the car via their smartphone.

The smartphone app includes control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range. This would allow the driver to walk alongside the car, at a maximum speed of 4mph, to manoeuvre their car out of challenging situations safely, or even to negotiate difficult off-road terrain.

Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Multi-Point Turn’ Range Rover Sport is capable of autonomously manoeuvring through 180 degrees to turn the car in the road and point the car in the opposite direction. This autonomous vehicle could extricate itself from the most difficult situations, such as a dead-end roads or congested car parks, as well as performing many drivers’ least favourite manoeuvre – the three-point turn in a busy street or car park.

The system uses sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects. The system takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to make as many forward and backwards movements as necessary to achieve the manoeuvre.

The research team is working on a system to scan the environment around the car and inform the driver whether it is safe to perform the turning manoeuvre. The driver then confirms the manoeuvre and the car would move forward until its path is blocked. It then selects reverse and uses the steering, throttle and brakes to do the same again. It repeats this as many times as required until it is facing in the opposite direction.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Getting a car out of a tricky parking manoeuvre can be a stressful experience for any driver. A Remote Control car, or a vehicle that can autonomously turn in the road, demonstrates how we could use these new technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.”

Jaguar Land Rover’s vision is to offer a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive. This means the car will be able to drive itself if the driver chooses, or offer systems that can be adjusted for a more engaging and involved drive.

“Because our customers drive in all terrains and in all weathers, any future autonomous Jaguar or Land Rover must be as capable on rough tracks and unpaved roads as it would be on city streets,” added Dr Epple.

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