UK Autodrive project features Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and the Tata Motors European Technical Centre
Sam Sheehan
17 November 2017

The UK’s largest autonomous and connected car trial has taken research onto public roads in Coventry, testing technology in real-life scenarios for the first time.

Project partners Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ford and the Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) are sharing their findings to speed up the pace of development.

The trials are examining the effectiveness of connecting cars to each other, traffic lights and other road furniture, as well as a network to provide advanced information such as emergency vehicle warnings.

JLR and TMETC are focusing on testing autonomous vehicle technology, using specially adapted and GPS-connected vehicles that are autonomous-capable but have test operators behind the wheel for safety.

The trial is planned to expand further around Coventry and also into Milton Keynes in early 2018, with a final series of open road demonstrations also scheduled for the second half of that year.

JLR demonstrated its portfolio of self-driving technologies earlier this year using a specially adapted Range Rover Sport. That prototype is capable of Level 4 autonomy, meaning it can drive itself but requires a human supervisor behind the wheel. It's said to be capable of negotiating roundabouts and junctions and responding to traffic lights as it drives around a simulated urban road network.

Behind the project to bring self-driving cars to British roads is UK Autodrive, a public-private consortium co-ordinated by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Innovate UK.

The Government is pushing for the UK to become a world-leader in autonomous driving technology; the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill had its second reading in Parliament last month.

The bill is drafted to encourage the uptake of autonomous cars, clarify how driverless vehicles will be insured and who is liable for damages following accidents, and boost the UK's network of charging points for EVs.

Our Verdict

Seat Arona

Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?

Join the debate


17 November 2017

Caution to Coventry though - JLR haven’t even mastered SatNav yet.....

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition