Jaguar Land Rover is to invest millions into an alternative approach to research autonomous motoring.
Instead of teaching the vehicles to drive perfectly, like robots, the car giant plans to establish how human drivers react to different real-world driving situations, such as heavy traffic, busy junctions, roadworks and bad weather. They believe that drivers are more likely to trust autonomous technology if it performs more like a human than a robot.
Sensors in a fleet of Jaguars and Land Rovers– which are to be driven daily by employees of the brand in London’s Greenwich district – will record the natural driving behaviour and decision-making that UK motorists make across a range of situations.
The three-year, £5.5m project, which is names ‘MOVE-UK’ and led by German multinational engineering and electronics company, Bosch, will also make use of the data to help develop insurance policies for future autonomous cars.
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, announced a £2.75 million grant to the project from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding for collaborative research is part of the Government’s £100m 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.”
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.