Jaguar Land Rover will begin testing connected and autonomous cars on a 41-mile stretch of roads in the U.K. The project will use 100 vehicles equipped with various experimental vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies.
Jaguar Land Rover wants to test technologies that would transmit warnings “over the horizon” between vehicles, meaning cars could warn other vehicles of, say, traffic backups or icy conditions. The cars could also communicate with traffic-monitoring systems by relaying their speed and position. Most important, cars could receive warnings of other dangers; messages that are currently displayed in illuminated signs above a highway could instead be transmitted directly to a car’s instrument cluster display. Warnings about approaching emergency vehicles, like ambulances, could also be displayed in-car to alert drivers.
“A well-informed driver is a safer driver, while an autonomous vehicle will need to receive information about the driving environment ahead,” Jaguar Land Rover director of research and technology Wolfgang Epple said in a statement. “The benefits of smarter vehicles communicating with each other and their surroundings include a car sending a warning that it is braking heavily or stopping in a queue of traffic or around a bend. This will enable an autonomous car to take direct action and respond.”