19th Oct, 2018

Self-driving Range Rover conquers Coventry ring road challenge

Editorial Correspondent 10th Oct, 2018 Updated: 10th Oct, 2018

A SELF-DRIVING car completed a lap of the notoriously challenging Coventry ring road.

A prototype autonomous Range Rover Sport handled the complex road network, successfully changing lanes, merging with traffic and exiting junctions at the speed limit of 40mph.

Jaguar Land Rover engineers completed significant self-driving technology testing on closed tracks before heading onto public roads in Coventry and Milton Keynes.

Today’s trial is part of the £20million government-funded project, UK Autodrive, which ends this month after a three-year programme.

JLR autonomous vehicle research manager Mark Cund said: “The Coventry Ring Road is known for its complicated slip roads and exits. It makes for very challenging conditions, especially when under pressure in the rush hour.

“Our self-driving car is not impacted by the same pressure, frustrations or fatigue that a driver may experience and so it’s capable of turning a potentially very stressful situation into a completely stress-free one.”

The luxury car manufacturer has recently been involved in testing technology to boost public trust in driverless technology.

There have been a number of accidents caused by self-driving cars in the last year.

Studies have shown the majority of road users remain sceptical about the safety of the technology for pedestrians.

But the firm says the new Range Rover can autonomously handle roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads. It can also park itself.

JLR says the vehicle was chosen for its performance and existing features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, has been modified to include additional navigation sensors, RADAR and LIDAR.

Engineers have also developed safety-enhancing and emission reducing technology, using the internet to connect vehicles to each other and to infrastructure such as traffic lights, JLR says.

The company says the UK Autodrive project has strengthened the Midlands’ position as a hub of mobility innovation.

The firm announced it is working on fully and semi-automated vehicle technologies to offer the choice of an engaged or automated drive.

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