Tag Archives: JLR

UK Autodrive Completes First Collaborative Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

 

The UK’s first collaborative trials of connected and autonomous vehicle technology were successfully completed on Friday, as UK Autodrive partners Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) jointly demonstrated a number of future vehicle technologies at HORIBA MIRA’s Proving Ground in Nuneaton.

Friday’s demonstration came at the end of a fortnight trials, in which the three vehicle manufacturers were able to successfully demonstrate the programme’s first two connected car features.

The first demonstration showcased cars that can warn their drivers when another connected car up ahead has braked severely, lowering the risk of rear-end collisions when the driver’s view is obscured, for example, by fog or other vehicles.

The second demonstration showed how connected cars can be sent information from traffic lights, allowing them to reduce the likelihood of meeting red lights – potentially improving future traffic flow and lowering emissions in urban areas.

“There has already been a lot of public focus on self-driving vehicles, but connected car technology may be just as revolutionary,” said Tim Armitage, Arup’s UK Autodrive project director.

“The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant – from increased road safety to improved traffic flow, more efficient parking and better information for drivers.”

Jaguar Land Rover also used Friday’s event to demonstrate a self-driving Range Rover Sport that was able to overtake slower moving vehicles automatically – and also reject overtake requests if it detects another vehicle in the occupant’s “blind spot”.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

The UK Autodrive demonstration was also welcomed the UK’s Roads Innovation Minister, John Hayes, who said: “This technology has the potential to revolutionise travel by making journeys safer and cutting congestion for motorists. I’m proud that the UK is a world leader when it comes to developing connected and automated vehicles, and we are further establishing ourselves as the place to test and invest in this emerging technology.”

 

Further UK Autodrive trials and demonstrations are scheduled to take place at HORIBA MIRA during the spring of next year, before moving out onto closed-off areas of Milton Keynes and Coventry in late 2017. The project will culminate in a series of open road trials and demonstrations to be held in both cities in 2018.

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.

£45 million investment sees 3,000 new jobs for Midlands automotive industry

File photo dated 13/09/06 of the production line for the new Mini at the BMW plant in Cowley, Oxford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 16, 2009. BMW announced today that 850 workers are to be laid off at its Mini car plant. The carmaker said the job losses at its factory in Cowley, near Oxford, would affect agency workers on the weekend shift. The cuts will come into force from March 2 when the plant begins operating five days per week, instead of the current seven. See PA story INDUSTRY Mini. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Midlands automotive sector is set to receive a £45 million boost, creating thousands more high-skill jobs for the region, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced.

£35 million in government investment, as well as an additional £10.5 million from local organisations, will be dedicated to a new automotive business zone in Whitley, near Coventry, which is set to become home to nearly 3,000 new -skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs.

This new investment will also improve local industrial transport links, including a new bridge to connect Whitley South to Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering centre and Global Head Quarters, already located in the region.

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, said, “Our world-class auto sector is leading the way and this new development will create thousands more skilled jobs. It shows how private and public sector can work together to make a difference to the economy.”

For more information on investment in the UK Automotive Industry visit www.smmt.co.uk/investment.

Source: SMMT

 

Jaguar Land Rover Showcase A Remote Control Range Rover Sport, Controlled By The Driver On A Smartphone

JAGUAR LAND ROVER SHOWCASE A REMOTE CONTROL RANGE ROVER SPORT, CONTROLLED BY THE DRIVER ON A SMARTPHONE OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE

  • Jaguar Land Rover researchers developing new sensing technologies that will work in all weathers and in all environments – so any future autonomous car can go anywhere
  • Autonomous driving prototypes revealed include the ‘Multi-Point Turn’ Range Rover Sport, which will perform an autonomous 180-degree turn in the road
  • Jaguar Land Rover’s vision is to create driver-focussed autonomous technologies to enhance the driving experience

Jaguar Land Rover has revealed some of the prototype technologies that its UK-based research team are developing to deliver autonomous driving in the future.

A Remote Control Range Rover Sport research vehicle demonstrates how a driver could drive the vehicle from outside the car via their smartphone. The smartphone app includes control of steering, accelerator and brakes as well as changing from high and low range. This would allow the driver to walk alongside the car, at a maximum speed of 4mph, to manoeuvre their car out of challenging situations safely, or even to negotiate difficult off-road terrain.

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. It could also be an invaluable aid when the vehicle is fording a stream or traversing sections made slippery by mud or snow. The remote control function will only operate if the user is within 10 metres of the car and if the smart key can be detected. The system will stop the vehicle if the driver moves out of range or gets too close.

Future possibilities for this technology could include more autonomous functionality where the driver gives a simple command from the handset to traverse an obstacle or exit a parking space, and the car does the rest.

MULTI-POINT TURN CAR

Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Multi-Point Turn’ Range Rover Sport is capable of autonomously manoeuvring through 180 degrees to turn the car in the road and point the car in the opposite direction. This autonomous vehicle 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.

The system uses sensors to assess available space and to avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other objects. The system takes over gear selection, steering, braking and acceleration to make as many forward and backwards movements as necessary to achieve the manoeuvre.

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 would move forward until its path is blocked. It then selects reverse and uses the steering, throttle and brakes to do the same again. It repeats this as many times as required until it is facing in the opposite direction.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said:”Getting a car out of a tricky parking manoeuvre can be a stressful experience for any driver. A Remote Control car, or a vehicle that can autonomously turn in the road, demonstrates how we could use these new technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.

“Research into technologies like these won’t only help us deliver an autonomous car. They will help make real driving safer and more enjoyable. The same sensors and systems that will help an autonomous car make the right decisions, will assist the driver and enhance the experience to help prevent accidents. Autonomous car technologies will not take away the fun of driving.”

Jaguar Land Rover’s vision is to offer a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive. This means the car will be able to drive itself if the driver chooses, or offer systems that can be adjusted for a more engaging and involved drive.

“Because our customers drive in all terrains and in all weathers, any future autonomous Jaguar or Land Rover must be as capable on rough tracks and unpaved roads as it would be on city streets,” added Dr Epple.

“We know our customers drive in heavy rain, and snow, and bright desert sunshine every day. We are working on an array of new sensors that would enable a car to operate in any environment, without any outside intervention or input from lane markings or roadside infrastructure like traffic lights. Our research engineers have a nickname for a car with this level of capability: the ‘Solo Car’.”

‘Solo Car’ enhanced sensing

Jaguar Land Rover has an advanced research programme underway to enhance the car’s sensing capability. This project is developing a range 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, LIDAR, cameras, ultrasonics and structured light technology. 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.

To view a video of this story, please click here: http://youtu.be/QjJ2wKCMq5w

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

 

Jaguar Land Rover Reveals New Road Safety Technology Projects

Jaguar Land Rover Road Safety Research Includes Brain Wave Monitoring To Improve Driver Concentration And Reduce Accidents

  • Jaguar Land Rover’s pioneering Mind Sense project is researching measuring  brainwaves to monitor driver concentration in the car
  • Researchers are developing a Wellness Seat in a Jaguar XJ which analyses the driver’s heart rate and breathing to monitor driver health and stress
  • Touchscreens that predict which button you want to press as the user’s fingers are in mid-air –  to minimise time spent with eyes off the road
  • Jaguar Land Rover researchers use new haptic accelerator pedal to communicate hazards to the driver

Jaguar Land Rover has revealed a range of new road safety technology research projects that are being developed to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers who are stressed, distracted and not concentrating on the road ahead.

The Jaguar Land Rover ‘Sixth Sense’ research projects utilises advanced technology, from sports, medicine and aerospace, to monitor the driver’s heart rate, respiration and levels of brain activity to identify driver stress, fatigue and lack of concentration. The UK-based team is also looking at innovations that would reduce the amount of time the driver’s eyes are off the road whilst driving, and how to communicate with the driver via pulses and vibrations through the accelerator pedal.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover Director of Research and Technology, said: “We believe some of the technologies currently being used in aerospace and medicine could help improve road safety and enhance the driving experience. The car is becoming more intelligent and more able to utilise cutting-edge sensors. These research projects are investigating how we could exploit this for the benefit of our customers and other road users.

“One key piece of new research is to see how we could measure brainwaves to monitor if the driver is alert and concentrating on driving. Even if the eyes are on the road, a lack of concentration or a daydream will mean the driver isn’t paying attention to the driving task. They may miss a warning icon or sound, or be less aware of other road users so we are looking at how we could identify this and prevent it causing an accident.”

Mind Sense

The basis of Jaguar Land Rover’s Mind Sense research is to see if a car could effectively read the brainwaves that indicate a driver is beginning to daydream, or feeling sleepy, whilst driving.

The human brain continually generates four or more distinct brainwaves at different frequencies. By continually monitoring which type of brainwave is dominant, an on-board computer could potentially assess whether a driver is focused, daydreaming, sleepy, or distracted.

“If brain activity indicates a daydream or poor concentration, then the steering wheel or pedals could vibrate to raise the driver’s awareness and re-engage them with driving,” added Dr Epple. “If Mind Sense does not detect a surge in brain activity following the car displaying a warning icon or sound, then it could display it again, or communicate with the driver in a different way, to ensure the driver is made aware of a potential hazard.”

The most common method for monitoring brainwaves is close to the source using sensors attached to a headband, something that would be impractical in a vehicle. Jaguar Land Rover is investigating a method already used by NASA to develop a pilot’s concentration skills and also by the US bobsleigh team to enhance concentration and focus.

This detects brainwaves through the hands via sensors embedded in the steering wheel. Because the sensing is taking place further away from the driver’s head, software is used to amplify the signal and filter out the pure brainwave from any background ‘noise’. Jaguar Land Rover is currently conducting user trials to collect more information on the different brainwaves identified through the steering wheel sensors and will involve leading neuroscientists in the project to verify the results.

Driver Wellness Monitoring

Jaguar Land Rover is assessing how a vehicle could monitor the well-being of the driver using a medical-grade sensor embedded in the seat of a Jaguar XJ. The sensor, which was originally developed for use in hospitals, has been adapted for in-car use and detects vibrations from the driver’s heart beat and breathing.

“As we develop more autonomous driving technologies, there will be instances when the autonomous car needs to hand control back to the driver,” added Dr Epple. “To do this safely the car will need to know if the driver is alert and well enough to take over. So our research team is looking at the potential for a range of driver monitoring technologies to give the car enough information to support this decision. If the car detects severe health issues, or simply how alert the driver is, then the car could take steps to ensure the driver is focussed enough on the driving task to take over.”

Monitoring the physical health of the driver could not only detect the onset of sudden and serious illness that may incapacitate the driver, but also allow the car to monitor driver stress levels. This would then allow the car to help reduce stress, for example by changing mood lighting, audio settings and climate control.

Predictive Infotainment Screen with mid-air touch

Jaguar Land Rover is working on new technologies that increase the speed and efficiency of the interaction between the driver and the infotainment screen. The aim is to reduce driver distraction by minimising the amount of time the driver’s eyes are on the screen.

Dr Epple: “The driver will instinctively look at the infotainment screen or dashboard when pressing buttons to select navigation, music or the telephone. It’s intuitive. So our research is looking at how we could take a current infotainment screen and increase the speed and efficiency of this interaction to minimise the time the driver’s eyes are away from the road and their hand is off the steering wheel.”

Our Predictive Infotainment Screen prototype uses cameras embedded in the car to track the driver’s hand movements and this enables the system to predict which button the driver intends to press. This allows successful button selection to take place in mid-air, which means users wouldn’t have to touch the screen itself.  In user trials this increases the speed of successful button selection by 22 per cent and therefore reduces the amount of time the driver is looking at the screen with their eyes off the road.

The system could also use mid-air touch to provide the driver with a sensation, otherwise known as haptic feedback, that their button selection has been successful. Mid-air touch uses ultrasonics to create a touch sensation in mid-air without the skin needing to be in contact with any surface. The sensations could include a ‘tap’ on your finger or a ‘tingling’ on your fingertips. As touch provides an immediate response to the brain, there will be no need for the driver to glance at the screen for visual confirmation which would help keep their gaze on the road ahead.

HAPTIC ACCELERATOR PEDAL

Haptics could also be used to communicate with the driver through the accelerator pedal to increase the speed of response and to ensure the correct action is taken.

To create these sensations in the accelerator pedal, an actuator sits at the top of the pedal arm and allows for vibrations or pulses to be passed through to the foot of the driver. The technology also uses a torque motor which can create resistance in the pedal feel.

This resistance could be used to notify the driver that they are pushing the accelerator through a speed limit. Alternatively, if you were crawling along in traffic a timely warning through the accelerator could prevent you bumping into the car in front.

Dr Epple added: “To avoid saturating the driver with more visuals and sounds, which could overload and distract them, we are exploring other ways for the car to communicate with the driver.  With our haptic pedals researchwe are investigating non-visual ways to communicate which would enable the driver to make smarter and faster decisions and reduce the potential for accidents.”

Source: JLR

Jaguar Land Rover & BMW to launch technology startups.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are launching initiatives to encourage automotive technology startups.

The newly founded BMW Startup Garage sets out to tap directly into the potential of particularly innovative startups. With the BMW Startup Garage, the BMW Group is continuing its successful collaboration with startup companies. The combination of the strategic and global planning clout of a large corporation with the culture of ongoing innovation, creativity and venturesomeness that marks out successful startups has already proved a winning recipe. In addition to the BMW Startup Garage, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures also fosters the exchange with young enterprises developing innovative solutions for urban mobility.

The BMW Group has, moreover, joined forces with the Centre for Innovation and Business Creation – UnternehmerTUM – at Munich’s Technical University in order to set up the “TEchFounders” accelerator programme for technology startups. The Accelerator Programme introduces the BMW Group to innovative technologies, products and services at a very early stage, with the option of working together with the startup teams.

The BMW Group has always actively sought new, pathbreaking technologies, but until now it has been difficult for startups to present their ideas to the company – the internal processes and procedures of a major enterprise can be quite daunting to fledgling companies. With its slimmed-down, efficient processes, the BMW Startup Garage now allows for swift and flexible collaborative projects. That way more startups can be identified and integrated more rapidly. Any interested startup companies can apply online to the BMW Startup Garage. The selection is then made directly via the BMW Startup Garage in close consultation with the innovation management team and the relevant departments of the BMW Group.

Selected startups subsequently undergo a special programme lasting several months. At the core of this programme is the development of a functional prototype with an application relevant to the BMW Group. Startups also receive assistance in building up their network within the Group and in drawing up a business plan.

In principle, any startup anywhere in the world can apply. And the scheme is not restricted to companies in the automotive sector, but extends to technologies that can be transferred to automotive engineering applications. However, applicants must meet a number of requirements as well: “We’re looking for good startups and not good inventors,” explains Matthias Meyer. “Anyone thinking of applying needs to bring along not just a great idea but a great team as well. After all, only a top-flight team can make ideas work successfully.”

As Jaguar Land Rover reveals In Control Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the all-new Jaguar XF, it has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.

Jaguar Land Rover will now launch an ‘Innovation Incubator’ project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start-ups.

The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need Jaguar Land Rover’s technical help to make these concepts a reality. The Innovation Incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start-up companies for Jaguar Land Rover to work with over the next decade.

Nick Rogers, Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas, rather like TV’s Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den! If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas.”

This support includes a space in a new ‘Innovation Incubator’ centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start-ups. Jaguar Land Rover will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start-ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.

“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland,” said Matt Jones, Head of Future Infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover, who will manage the new facility.

Jaguar Land Rover has already run a pilot for the ‘Innovation Incubator’ programme and identified a project with a US technology start-up called Vonsor.

The innovative Vonsor system is currently under development with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in Portland. The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.

“This is completely in tune with the social media generation. People of all ages love to capture their experiences on their smartphones and share them. The Vonsor system allows you to save both your on and off-road driving adventures, with cameras integrated in the vehicle filming anything from wheels articulating over an obstacle, to the whole family having fun inside the car whilst driving along. Vonsor would allow you to collate all of that footage, edit it together and post it all from the vehicle’s touchscreen – so everyone can share the experience,” said Justyn Baker from Vonsor. “We met Jaguar Land Rover at a start-up pitch competition, and it has been great to get their support and insight. It has helped open my eyes to more possibilities than I had ever imagined.”

Sources: BMW, JLR

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Honda, JLR, and Subaru join Denso AHEAD distraction consortium

 

Denso, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab and Touchstone Evaluations have founded a consortium, Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Automotive Distraction (AHEAD), that aims to develop new perspectives and methodologies for a holistic and objective approach to measuring driver demand. Honda R&D Americas, Subaru Research & Development and Jaguar Land Rover have joined the programme as initial partners, and discussions with other global automakers and portable electronics suppliers are ongoing.

The new consortium brings together leading researchers, automakers and suppliers to take a fresh look at methods to reliably and repeatedly assess the demands associated with in-vehicle interactions. Further, this work aims to provide the auto industry with an evaluation platform that better supports driver safety as the potential for automotive human-machine interface (HMI) complexity increases.

“We know drivers want to be connected while driving, but how do we safely give drivers what they want?” said Doug Patton, senior vice president of Engineering at Denso International America. “We need to evaluate driver workload – but currently there is no quantifiable and objective metrology model in place. Not to mention, there’s a high price tag attached to researching and developing something like this. With that said, forming a consortium will help reach the goal of establishing a common methodology.”

The Goal of AHEAD:

Current evaluation methods for HMI technologies are primarily based upon criteria developed before the advent of modern integrated technologies such as voice interfaces, touch screens and multi-function controllers. Perhaps most importantly, the evaluation methods utilized to date don’t consider the tradeoffs that exist as demand is moved between modalities such as vision, touch, sound, haptics, gesture and cognition. The effort aims to make early stage prototype evaluations more feasible where design changes can be more effectively achieved – in contrast to evaluations that frequently take place later in the vehicle development process.

The goal of AHEAD is to create a quantifiable objective evaluation toolkit that will be useful across the industry for supporting new HMI development; and, one that will improve the effectiveness and reliability of data, helping manufactures and portable electronics suppliers offer intuitive, convenient and safe interfaces to the consumer while more effectively meeting industry and governmental guidelines.

Joining forces to lead the technical effort are researchers from the MIT AgeLab and Touchstone Evaluations. The MIT AgeLab has lead efforts to utilize to multi-dimensional assessment by holistically combining physiological, visual attention and performance measures as part of HMI evaluation.

 

Source: Denso