Jaguar Land Rover is investing millions of pounds into a research project intended to help autonomous vehicles of the future drive naturally like human drivers, rather than like robots.
A fleet of JLR vehicles will be driven regularly by employees of the London Borough of Greenwich, to ascertain and establish how a range of different drivers react in real-world driving situations such as heavy traffic, and bad weather.
Data from sensors in the cars will reveal the natural driving behavior and decision-making of the drivers, including complex and potentially stressful situations. These include yielding, or giving way, at roundabouts and intersections, easing forward at junctions to enter a flow of traffic, or how they react to an approaching emergency vehicle.
The three year project, called 'MOVE-UK' is led by Bosch, who will also use the collected data to help develop insurance policies for autonomous cars. Insurance experts will provide their expertise on the liability of certain scenarios.
MOVE-UK also has support from the government, with a £2.75 million grant from the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding is part of the Government's £100 million "Connected and Autonomous Vehicles" fund.
Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "To successfully introduce autonomous cars, we actually need to focus more on the driver than ever before. Understanding how drivers react to a range of very dynamic and random situations in the real world is essential if we want drivers to embrace autonomous cars in the future."
Drivers will need to completely trust the vehicle before they opt-in and engage automated systems.
"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," added Dr. Epple.
"Ultimately we want to be able to give drivers the choice of an engaged or autonomous drive. If drivers have confidence in the automation they will seamlessly flick from one mode to the other. Autonomous mode will help with any challenging, or less stimulating activities on the journey, like parking or driving in heavy traffic. If this automated experience feels natural and safe, the driver will be able to genuinely relax and will be happy to let the car take control."
SIGN UP for Exclusive Offers & Latest Deals
Please wait while we calculate your shipping cost.....