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Jaguar Land Rover research is aimed at making self-driving cars that are not “robots”

Published: February 02, 2016 | Coventry

Jaguar Land Rover is investing $7.9 million (£5.5 million) over three years in autonomous driving technology, with a hint of irony. The company plans on having humans pilot the self-driving cars to shape its autonomous driving capabilities for natural driving on a daily commute.

A fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be driven daily by employees of the London Borough of Greenwich, to establish how a range of different drivers react to real-world driving situations, including heavy traffic, busy junctions, road works and bad weather.

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Data from sensors in these cars will reveal the natural driving behaviors and decision-making that drivers make whilst driving, including complex and stressful scenarios. These include giving way at roundabouts and intersections, how drivers ease forward at junctions to enter a flow of traffic, or how they react to an emergency vehicle coming up behind their car whilst in a traffic jam.

The three year £5.5m ‘MOVE-UK’ project, which is led by Bosch, will also use this data to help develop insurance policies for future autonomous cars. Insurance experts will provide their expertise on the liability of certain scenarios using the real-world driving data supplied by the fleet of test cars.

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills today announced the UK Government’s support for the MOVE-UK research with a £2.75 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding for collaborative research is part of the Government’s £100m Connected and Autonomous Vehicles fund.

Drivers will need to completely trust the vehicle before they opt-in and engage automated systems. If an autonomous car can be programmed to have a very similar reaction to a real driver, then the autonomous experience will be more natural, and the driver more likely to allow the car to take control.

The MOVE-UK consortium is led by Bosch and includes Jaguar Land Rover, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Direct Line, the London Borough of Greenwich and The Floow.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

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