Jaguar Land Rover will launch cars with fully autonomous tech capable of off-roading, the company has announced.
The tech, called Project Cortex, uses multiple sensors to build a so-called five-dimensional image of the world around the car to allow it to traverse challenging terrains without the input of a driver. Machine learning will enable the system to improve over time, too.
Project Cortex will be capable of tackling any terrain in any weather conditions, using sound, video, radar and Lidar sensors to map the car’s surroundings. The system will be offered in semi (Level 3) and fully autonomous (Level 4 and 5) forms so the driver can choose whether they drive or are driven by the car.
Chris Holmes, JLR's connected and autonomous vehicle research manager, said: “It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers.
"Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation. Cortex gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realise this vision in the near future.”
Testing will take place in the UK on off-road tracks, although the algorithms that make the tech possible, as well as the required sensors, are still being developed and tweaked.
JLR remains tight-lipped on finer details, such as when the tech is expected to be implemented and whether its partners on the project differ from those for its on-road autonomy strategy.
The two brands have already showcased future autonomous tech in a fully autonomous Range Rover prototype, capable of Level 4 autonomy — where the driver must be present to take over control when needed, but does not need to pay attention to the road, hold the steering wheel or operate any controls.