Land Rover Showcases Mobile App-Controlled Autonomous Driving
Functions Add Capability, Practical Features On-Road and Off
Lately, whenever the term “autonomous driving” or “self-driving cars” comes up, the image of the pod-shaped urban conveyances pops into most peoples’ heads. However, if Land Rover has anything to do with it, it could mean remote off-road spotting, trail climbing, and backing out of a tight parking space when the guy next to you gave you about four inches of room. Jaguar Land Rover is developing new sensor technologies that will allow for all of these functions and more, enabled by a smartphone app.
For those of us with an interest in off-roading, those features are the most interesting. The app allows for control of the steering, accelerator, and brakes and allows remote engagement of low-range four-wheel drive. The app allows the driver to walk alongside of the vehicle at speeds up to 4 mph. As many of us that have off-roaded know that sometimes the weight of a driver can mean the difference between clearing a boulder or scraping the frame or body. The remote driving app allows the driver to negotiate tight or challenging trails from outside the vehicle. As a safety precaution, the remote functionality will only work within 32 feet of the car and will stop the vehicle if the operator gets too close.
But the useful features aren’t only for off-road. The app allows for remote reversing out of tight parking spaces, as well as autonomous 180-degree turns. Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology put it succinctly: “Because our customers drive in all terrains and all weathers, and future autonomous Land Rover must be as capable on rough tracks and unpaved roads as it would be on city streets.”
Likely the biggest hurdle that Jaguar Land Rover is likely to face is regulatory. Assuming global regulatory bodies approve the use of this technology in time, we could be seeing these features on production models as soon as five years from now.
Source: Land Rover