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JLR showcases future autonomous driving technology

The prototype technology, part of the carmaker’s focus on future autonomous technologies, uses a smartphone app that offers control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range. As a result, the driver can walk alongside the car whilst controlling it at a maximum speed of 4mph over tricky terrain.

Other uses could include reversing the car out of a parking space if someone has parked too close for them to open the door.

The carmaker’s ‘Multi-Point Turn’ Range Rover Sport can also autonomously turn 180 degrees in the road, enabling it to extricate itself from difficult situations, such as a dead-end roads or congested car parks, or do a three-point turn.

The system uses sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects. The system takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to make as many forward and backwards movements as necessary to achieve the manoeuvre.

The research team is working on a system to scan the environment around the car and inform the driver whether it is safe to perform the turning manoeuvre. The driver then confirms the manoeuvre and the car would move forward until its path is blocked. It then selects reverse and uses the steering, throttle and brakes to do the same again. It repeats this as many times as required until it is facing in the opposite direction.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Research into technologies like these won’t only help us deliver an autonomous car. They will help make real driving safer and more enjoyable. The same sensors and systems that will help an autonomous car make the right decisions, will assist the driver and enhance the experience to help prevent accidents. Autonomous car technologies will not take away the fun of driving.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.