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.
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.