Jaguar Land Rover to start self-driving tests in UK by 2020 image

Britain’s biggest carmaker said it planned to deploy a fleet of autonomous cars by the end of the decade to test its tech in real world traffic conditions.

JLR’s announcement swiftly came just after the UK government said this week it has launched a major public consultation to help pave the regulatory way for driverless cars to be used on British roads. The automaker plans to create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles over the next four years, to develop and assess a wide range of connected and autonomous technologies. The first of these test cars will be driven later this year on a new 41-mile test route on motorways and urban roads around central England.

Jaguar Land Rover said it would initially evaluate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications tech that allowed cars to exchange info. Earlier this year, UK announced plans of investing into a connected corridor or ‘wi-fi road’ for cars and infrastructure to be wirelessly connected, helping drivers to receive news of advanced road closures or congestion warnings.

“Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents. We will also improve the driving experience, with drivers able to choose how much support and assistance they need,”, JLR’s head of research Tony Harper said.

The automaker’s V2V and V2I technologies include systems such as Roadwork Assist, Safe Pullaway, Over the Horizon Warning and Emergency Vehicle Warning.