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Ford and Jaguar Land Rover test connected cars

By raccars Published

Land Rover Sport

Ford is involved in British tests for connected cars which can communicate with each other.

Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors are in the process of testing connected cars in Britain. It is the first trial of its kind in the UK and features cars which can communicate using technology which aims to speed up journey times, as well as cutting accidents.

Central England was the stage for the showcasing of connected cars which are warned when another vehicle must brake suddenly. The tests also covered vehicles which can monitor traffic signals, as well as regulating speed in order to minimise the number of red lights encountered en route.

Sophisticated technology from Ford and others

Fully driverless vehicles are being brought closer by the advent of increasingly sophisticated technology. The Indian Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover group has already demonstrated the ability of a self-driving Range Rover Sport to automatically overtake slower cars.

Tim Armitage, who is a project director with UK Auto drive, a government-backed organisation behind the latest trials, claims that communication between cars and surroundings has the potential to be ‘very significant’ and to improve everything from traffic flow to road safety.

A driverless car has just had its first trial in the UK as the Government attempts to create a global market. The industry is set to be worth as much as £900 million by 2025. It is said that Britain wants to have autonomous cars on the road by the time the decade comes to an end and car manufacturers are clearly engaged in a race to be at the front of the pack when it comes to driverless technology.

Jaguar Land Rover announced this year that the company has plans to launch a fleet of over 100 research vehicles in the next 48 months to test connected and autonomous technology. Volvo also has plans to try-out driverless vehicles next year in London. In addition, Volvo and Ford are collaborating with Uber in testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.

Obstacles to autonomous technology

In America, where the Uber trials are taking place, Barrack Obama has talked about autonomous cars, claiming that there are a variety of ramifications associated with their advancement. Hilary Clinton, meanwhile, says that the technology allows for innovators to make advancements in a wide range of disciplines, including self-driving vehicles.

There is no doubt, however, that there are obstacles to the widespread adoption of autonomous technology. These must be overcome in order for advancements to be made and accepted and there are warnings from a number of quarters that the technology may take longer to become mainstream than initially predicted.

Last year, a global conference focusing on driverless cars was told of some of the hurdles which must be overcome in an industry where even a simple piece of tumbleweed can cause problems for some of the technology being developed, according to a Volkswagen researcher. The Los Angeles Connected Car Expo had quite a sceptical mood about it; something which may have come as a surprise given the event’s focus.

Some of the problems highlighted included the ability of autonomous vehicles to deal with a variety of driving conditions, including different weather, and their ability to react to obstacles. Metallic chocolate wrappers, for example, have caused driverless vehicles to panic and tumbleweed could do the same.

The Expo also discussed the issue of driverless cars knowing which threats they should ignore. A human driver is likely to find it easier to distinguish between dangerous and non-dangerous obstacles, for example.

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