JLR launches £11m driverless car programme

Jaguar Land Rover is teaming up with academics across the UK in a bid to develop fully autonomous cars.

The £11 million programme, jointly funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, has awarded funding to a total of five projects nationwide.

Research will be split between 10 universities and the Transport Research Laboratory. Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at JLR, hopes the results will help realise the potential of driverless vehicles.

He says drivers, pedestrians and other road users need to be given the confidence that a car driving around with little or no human input is a safe, viable and rewarding experience.

The transition between human control and automated systems is one of the topics on the agenda, as is the use of radar and video sensing to interpret the external environment.

Another real-world challenge to be looked at will be how data from intelligent infrastructure, drivers and automated vehicles can be used to aid interaction.

The University of Southampton is one of the institutions involved in the research, where Professor Neville Stanton will lead a project that aims to explore how drivers will react to new autonomous systems.

He claims the reaction of drivers to the technology is the largest gap in the understanding of vehicle automation.