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GUIDE YOUR LANDY FROM YOUR PHONE: Jaguar Land Rover's new tech enables driver's to remote control their vehicle via a smartphone app. Image: Digital News Agency

  • New ‘Multi-Point Turn’ Range Rover

  • New sensing-tech
  • Autonomous prototypes revealed

LONDON, England - Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed prototype technologies that its UK-based research team is developing for autonomous vehicles.

A Remote Control Range Rover Sport research vehicle demonstrates how a driver could drive the vehicle from outside the car via their smartphone.

A smartphone app controls steering, accelerator and brakes and is capable of changing from high to low-range transmission.

NEW REMOTE TECH

The remote technology will allow a driver to walk alongside their vehicles, at a maximum speed of 6km/h, to navigate challenging situations safely such as off-road obstacles.

VIDEO: Remote control Land Rover

According to JLR: “The driver could use the smartphone to reverse the car out of a parking space if someone has parked too close for them to open the door, or allow the driver to become their own off-road spotter, to guide the car over off-road obstacles from outside the vehicle.

“By walking alongside the car, the driver could continually check ramp, approach and departure angles and allow precise positioning of the vehicle when rock crawling.”

The technology could also be used when fording a stream or traversing slippery terrain. The remote control function will only operate if the user is within 10m of the car and if the smart key is detected. The system will stop the vehicle if the driver moves out of range or gets too close.

JLR says that its new technology could include more autonomous functionality where the driver gives a simple command to traverse an obstacle or exit a parking space, and the car does the rest.

MULTI-POINT TURN

JLR said: “The autonomous Range Rover could extricate itself from the most difficult situations, such as a dead-end roads or congested car parks, as well as performing many drivers’ least favourite manoeuvre – the three-point turn in a busy street or car park.”  

With "Multi-Point Turn" installed, the prototype Range Rover is capable of autonomously manoeuvring 180 degrees to turn the car in the opposite direction.

The system uses sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects.

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 moves forward until its path is blocked.

It then selects reverse and uses steering, throttle and brakes to until it is facing in the opposite direction.

‘SOLO CAR’ ENHANCED SENSING

JLR is enhancing vehicle-sensor capability by testing a number of sophisticated sensors to make autonomous cars viable in a range of driving environments and weather conditions.

Creating a car capable of functioning autonomously in all situations requires a fusion of sensors with different attributes including radar, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), cameras and ultrasonic technology.

JLR said: “Each of these is needed to enable an autonomous car to function in the real world and to ensure the car can make safe and accurate decisions anywhere.”

BE YOUR OWN ‘OFF-ROAD’ SPOTTER: With JLR's new remote control, you could be your own off-road spotter and navigate tricky obstacles. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

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