Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover is teaming up with the University of Birmingham and machine learning experts Myrtle AI to develop autonomous cars that can go off-road and drive themselves, whatever the weather conditions.
The vehicles will be equipped with machine learning technology that enables them to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way, ensuring they can handle the conditions on any terrain, including dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog.
The £3.7m ‘CORTEX’ project will combine acoustic, video, radar, and light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data — live, and in real time — to improve car’s awareness of its environment.
The aim is to develop the highest level of self-driving technology, reaching levels four and five on a scale that ranges from zero to five.
According to Jaguar Land Rover, level four is high automation, where the car can operate independently in specific environments such as in cities or on motorways, without driver intervention. Level five means no human control is needed, and the vehicle can complete a journey without any human intervention.
“It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers,” commented Chris Holmes, connected and autonomous vehicle research manager at Jaguar Land Rover. “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.”