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JLR to test connected car tech on 'living lab' roads

Date: 01 February 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Jaguar Land Rover will test future technology on a 41-mile stretch of 'living lab' of UK roads to help develop new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The £5.5m UK-CITE (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create a test route capable of testing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads during the three-year trial.

The Government has provided the project with a £3.41m grant from its £100m Connected and Autonomous Vehicles fund.

JLR said the fleet of 100 vehicles would test a range of technologies that will be able to share information at high speed between cars, and between cars and roadside equipment, such as traffic lights and overhead gantries.

As part of the scheme, JLR will test 'Over the Horizon' warning systems, which are designed to warn drivers, and inform future autonomous vehicles, helping them react and respond to hazards and changing traffic conditions automatically. 

The project will test four main connectivity technologies: 4G-based LTE (Long Term Evolution), DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications), LTE-V (a more advanced version of LTE) and local WiFi hotspots.

"This real-life laboratory will allow Jaguar Land Rover's research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions," said Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at JLR. "Similar research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe so this test route is exactly the sort of innovation infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally."

"The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow," he added. "These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move."

The UK-CITE consortium members include Jaguar Land Rover, Visteon, Siemens, Coventry City Council, WMG, University of Warwick, MIRA, Coventry University, and Vodafone.