The good folks at JLR aren’t happy with cars that are beautiful, luxurious, and exceedingly capable. No, they also seem to insist on pushing the boundaries of technology, and I’m not talking about transmissions and transfer cases— although they’re no slouches there either. JLR is making a play to lead the connected car revolution, bringing a bit of Silicon Valley (the forward looking mentality, not the hilarious show) to Coventry. We recently enjoyed a sampling of current and future JLR tech, here are the highlights:
Mid-air touch and the Predictive Infotainment Screen
Jaguar Land Rover is engineering a new kind of no-touchscreen that doesn’t require the driver to make physical contact. The idea is that drivers will look at the screen less as Mid-air touch will offer ultrasonic haptic feedback. That is, the driver would have a physical sensation signifying that their task was completed, negating the need to look for verification.
JLR’s Predictive Infotainment Screen prototype takes advantage of cameras to monitor the driver’s hand movements, thus predicting which button the driver wants to tap. In the carmaker's experiments the expediency of selection was improved by 22%.
Haptic Gas Pedal
In the Jag’s and Range Rover’s of tomorrow, haptics may be used to deliver information to the driver via the accelerator pedal. Vibrations, pulses or resistance could be used to notify the driver of speed limits, stopped vehicles, and other road hazards. This form of non-visual communication which would help reduce the potential for accidents and afford the driver a greater window of time in which to take action.
JLR uses a forward-facing stereo camera to generate a 3D view of the road ahead and together with advanced image processing software, it can recognise cones and barriers. The system will sense when the vehicle is approaching the start of the roadworks, identify an ideal path through complicated construction sites and contraflows, and inform the driver that the road is narrowing ahead. The system will then apply a small amount of steering assistance to the wheel to help the driver remain centred in lane.
Getting too close to the vehicle in front in traffic jams or when entering junctions is a common cause of accidents. Low-speed collisions can also be caused by drivers hitting walls, garage doors or parked cars because they mistakenly put the vehicle into drive instead of reverse when attempting to pull away.
Jaguar Land Rover is developing an assistance system to prevent these types of collisions. Called Safe Pullaway, it uses the stereo camera to monitor the area immediately in front of the vehicle.If objects such as vehicles or walls are detected, and the system receives signals from throttle pedal activation or from gear selection that could lead to a collision, the vehicle brakes are automatically applied and the driver receives an audible warning.
Over The Horizon Warning
This feature has its genesis in a research project testing devices that use radio signals to transmit relevant data from vehicle to vehicle. If vehicles were able to communicate independently, drivers and autonomous cars could be warned of hazards and obstacles over the horizon or around blind bends.
Overhead Clearance Assist
We were also impressed by overhead clearance assist— particularly relevant to our region’s many Range Rovers. As an example, let’s say you have say bicycles on a rack atop your car and you come across a low ceiling like getting into a car park. If, as apparently happens fairly regularly, you forget that you have the bikes up there, the car will stop and will not drive through— a new take in smart cars that we’ve not seen before.
Surface Identification and 3D path sensing research combines camera, ultrasonic, radar and LIDAR sensors to give the car a 360 degree view of the world around it, with sensors so advanced that the car could determine surface characteristics, down to the width of a tyre, even in rain and falling snow, to plan its route.
Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control
C-ACC, as it’s known in Coventry, combines short-range communications and radar-based adaptive cruise control to connect vehicles. With C-ACC, the lead vehicle in a group is given control of braking and acceleration of the following cars. JLR expects C-ACC TO improve traffic flow, allowing closer following distances at highway speeds.
By: Adel Habib