Autonomous Urban Drive is prototype technology engineered in Britain as part of the £20m UK Autodrive research and development project.
It 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 Jaguar 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 Sport research vehicle will decide the best route. It can navigate a complex urban environment which is being trialled at the HORIBA MIRA proving ground.
Says Tony Harper, director of engineering research, Jaguar Land Rover: “Our Autonomous Urban Drive research is Jaguar 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.”
Jaguar 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.
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.