Brian Joss – Jaguar Land Rover is developing off-road self-driving SUVs through CORTEX, a £3.7m (approximately R62m) project, to develop autonomous cars capable of all-terrain, off-road driving in any weather condition.
The world-first ‘Cortex’ project will take self-driving cars off-road, ensuring they are fully capable in any weather condition: dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog. As part of the project, a ‘5D’ technique combining acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time is being engineered. Access to this combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in. Machine-learning enables the self-driving car to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way, allowing it to handle any weather condition on any terrain.
Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, 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.”
Jaguar Land Rover is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of the level of automation, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This project forms part of the company’s vision to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.
Cortex will develop the technology through algorithm development, sensor optimisation and physical testing on off-road tracks in the UK. The University of Birmingham, with its world leading research in radar and sensing for autonomous platforms and Myrtle AI, machine learning experts, join the project. Cortex was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March 2018.
CAPTION: Land Rover: self driving off-road. Picture: Jaguar Land Rover/Motorpress