Level 4 and 5 autonomy will stretch off road when Land Rover’s Project Cortex reaches production vehicles

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. 

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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.

Jaguar already partners Google autonomous subsidiary Waymo and is also part of the UK’s Autodrive project, which, alongside Ford, tests autonomous vehicles on UK roads.

Read more: 

Autonomous Jaguar I-Pace cars to hit roads as part of Google deal

Jaguar deal could encourage Waymo to start autonomous car tests in Britain

JLR product boss: Driver’s cars will thrive despite greater autonomy

UK autonomy project in partnership with JLR could slash urban traffic

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Comments
4

4 June 2018

Why?  Seriously, who possibly wants this?  

 

All this 'tech' that Autocar appears to worship - so much of it never ever gets used. 

 

To name but two:

 

Self parking.  What sort of moron can't park a car?  To admit it would be humiliation.

 

Lane departure. Unless you are asleep or busy texting, why?

 

 

 

 

4 June 2018

 What could you possibly be needing to do while traversing a hazardous piece of Terrain to hand over the vehicle to a collection of mindless systems?

Peter Cavellini.

4 June 2018

Really struggling to think of a reason for needing such a feature. There’s no way I would trust a 4x4 to drive off-road autonomously in anything but the very easiest of conditions. Given JLR products have steadily distanced themselves from serious off-road use, do they think this will add showroom appeal? The US military undertook extensive research into autonomous off-road vehicles some years ago (see DARPA Challenge competition), so this idea is far from new. 

4 June 2018

 On “old Topgear” a race between James May in a Range Rover and a Military Truck over some very Rough terrain and I think the Truck won?, I’m pretty sure it had autonomous systems....?

Peter Cavellini.

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