Jaguar Land Rover set a 4-year mission to research and develop different Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. A huge part of this involves a field of 100 research vehicles to be tested on a 66 km route covering parts of Coventry and Solihull, UK.
A team of researchers led by Jaguar Land Rover’s Tony Harper, will focus on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies which allows cars to ‘talk’ to each other and detect road signs and traffic lights.
These technologies can warn drivers in advance for potential collisions, especially when changing lanes or crossing intersections. Under Harper’s guidance, they’re now looking to test 3 new CAV technologies namely; Roadwork Assist, Safe Pullaway, and Over the Horizon Warning.
This tech can sense if the vehicle is approaching roadworks as well as identify an ideal path through complicated construction sites. Moreover, the Roadwork Assist informs the driver if the road is narrowing ahead. This uses a forward-facing camera that transmits a 3D view of the road ahead. As it detects a narrow road, construction cones and other obstacles, a warning is then sent to the driver. To assist the driver, the system will then apply a small amount of steering assistance to the wheel to help the driver remain centered in lane.
Safe Pullaway uses the same forward-facing camera and sensors as the Road Assist. This, however, prevents the car from accidentally hitting other cars in front of it, especially on traffic jams. If objects such as vehicles or walls are detected, the brakes will be automatically applied and the driver receives an audible warning.
Here’s a video of both the Roadwork Assist and Safe Pullaway systems in action.
Over the Horizon Warning
This system uses the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies explained earlier. If a vehicle has slowed down or stopped, this system would send a “Hazard Ahead” warning to nearby vehicles. In line with this, approaching vehicles will then receive a visual and audible warning, informing the driver of the hazard ahead.
In his words, Harper shared that, “Over the Horizon will make driving safer and could help prevent traffic jams and accidents. Providing the right information at the right time will enable better and safer decision-making, whether the car is driven by a human or is autonomous (driving on its own).”
Watch this short video to better to see how Over the Horizon works.
Jaguar Land Rover is also working on Emergency Vehicle Warning tech which allows connected ambulances and police cars or fire engines to communicate with other vehicles on the road. A device in the emergency vehicle would broadcast that it is approaching before the driver could see or hear flashing lights and sirens.