Self-Driving Range Rover Sport Laps Coventry Ring Road Incident-Free

An autonomous Range Rover Sport has completed a lap of one of the UK’s most challenging roads, the Coventry Ring Road.

There was no input whatsoever from the driver. You may see a man in the driver’s seat, but he was there for legal reasons only. The prototype self-driving Range Rover Sport managed to do without his help and successfully changed lanes, exited junctions and merged with traffic while obeying the speed limit of 40 mph (64 km/h).

Why the Coventry Ring Road, you ask? Mark Cund, Jaguar Land Rover Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager, explains:

“The Coventry Ring Road is known for its complicated slip roads and exits. It makes for very challenging conditions, especially when under pressure in the rush hour.”

The successful self-driving attempt, which you can watch in the video posted below, is part of a £20 million ($26.3 million) UK Autodrive government-funded project. Ending this month after a three-year program, the project allowed JLR engineers to complete self-driving technology testing on closed tracks before using public roads in Milton Keynes and Coventry.

Besides factory-installed features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, the Range Rover Sport prototype was fitted with navigation sensors, RADAR and LIDAR. Thanks to those systems, the SUV is able to handle roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads. In addition, it can also park itself.

Jaguar Land Rover plans to offer self-driving cars to customers within 10 years.

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  • Dr Bjorn K. Von Strangefingger

    So it went around a road without ramming itself into a barrier or firetruck… BFD!

    • Neil Garratt

      I can tell you’ve never been to Coventry – there are at least 15 pile ups on that ring road every day, you have like a 1 in 30 chance of making it even half way round unscathed

  • Howfarr

    Pretty useless unless they start selling more cars

  • Mark Hawthorne

    “Bring it to customers within 10 years” – Land Rover leading the way in 2028 by introducing 2018 technology.

  • Stephen G

    Did they try having a drug addled homeless person whose family doesn’t care about her pushing a bicycle jump in front of the test vehicle in the dark?

  • Owen Kemeys

    If this was at rush hour and involved entering and exiting at a number of slips, this is quite impressive. The video didn’t show it well, but this road is an old design that features very short combined entry/exit slips, which means you have two lanes of traffic, with some cars trying to swap in both directions whilst others remain in lane, in a small distance, at speed, sometimes with traffic backed up blocking parts of these. It’s very stressful and requires confidence and skill to navigate.

    However, if this was at a quiet time of day and didn’t feature entry/exits, then it’s just a pedestrian-free 40mph road with a single roundabout. Less impressive.

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