Land Rover is going to drive off-road on autopilot


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that it will invest £ 3.7 million to provide future autonomous driving technology for its SUVs. Developed under the code name “Cortex”, the new project of JLR engineers is aimed at adapting the existing driving system without a driver to work in all weather conditions on the heaviest roads of the entire globe.

Cortex will work with sensors. Acoustic, video, radar detection and remote sensing systems (LIDAR) will be used to determine specific conditions, including compacted ice or deep snow. As soon as technology detects dangerous obstacles, an autonomous driving tool must find a solution to how to drive around an obstacle without driver intervention.

It is believed that most of the money will be spent on complex algorithms that help on-board computers to interpret the data and make accurate decisions based on what the sensors “see”. Engineers will also have ten years of off-road driving experience to ensure that the Land Rover autopilot knows how to best overcome difficult road conditions without getting stuck in mud, snow and sand.

According to Nigel Clark, head of research and development at JLR, the plan provides for the introduction of autonomous off-road systems from about 2025. And by 2030, the Jaguar and Land Rover SUVs will be completely autonomous both on the road and off-road, without the need for human intervention, even in the most difficult conditions.

In the meantime, one of the most difficult problems facing engineers is to train Cortex to recognize and evaluate various landscapes in sandstorms or snowstorms, where there is limited visibility and unpredictable obstacles, such as boulders or curbstones on the road.

JLR hopes that the new autonomous off-road function will attract fans in both Russia and the Middle East, as well as in countries such as India, where there are extreme weather extremes and a lack of road infrastructure.