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.