UK-based transport engineering consultancy Ricardo has revealed it is participating with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in a project to create a self-driving car that can ‘see’ around corners and through obstacles.
Led by Jaguar Land Rover, the £4.7m (US$6.6m) AutopleX project is aiming to investigate pioneering safety improvements for automated vehicle technologies and develop self-driving cars that can ‘see’ at blind junctions and through obstacles.
AutopleX will combine connected, automated and live mapping technologies so more information is provided earlier to the self-driving car. This will enable automated cars to communicate with all road users and obstacles where there is no direct view, effectively helping them see, so they can safely merge lanes and negotiate complex roundabouts autonomously.
AutopleX will develop the technology through simulation and public road testing, both on motorways and in urban environments in the UK’s West Midlands region. As well as JLR and Ricardo, the AutopleX project consortium also includes Highways England (HE), Inrix, Siemens, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), and WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick. The research program was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of government-backed Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding (CAV3) in March 2018.
“This project is crucial in order to bring self-driving cars to our customers in the near future,” explained Chris Holmes, connected and autonomous vehicle research manager at JLR. “Together with our AutopleX partners, we will merge our connected and autonomous research to empower our self-driving vehicles to operate safely in the most challenging, real-world traffic situations. This project will ensure we deliver the most sophisticated and capable automated driving technology.”
Ricardo’s chief operating officer, Mark Garrett, commented, “We’re really pleased to be part of the AutopleX team that has secured funding to focus on this crucial aspect of autonomous vehicle research. Autonomous vehicles offer the prospect of improved safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability of transportation. We look forward to working with our partners on the AutopleX project which will, I believe, deliver some highly useful insights that help pull forward the implementation of this very promising technology.”