Jaguar Land Rover Working on the World’s First Off-Road Autonomous Vehicle

JLR autonomous off-road vehicle in the works 1 photo
Photo: JLR
We’ve all grown pretty tired of all the autonomous vehicles out there. That’s because once you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
What we haven’t seen so far is a self-driving vehicle with off-road capabilities. Thanks to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), we just might get to tick that box as well.

JLR is working on a project it calls Cortex. Its goal is simple: develop autonomous cars capable of all-terrain, off-road driving in any weather condition. And not any autonomous cars, but Level 4 or even 5.

There aren’t many details available on the project, aside for the fact that for it to be able to do what is supposed to do, the vehicle would make use of what is known in the industry as a 5D environment.

This means the vehicle would be fitted with acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing technologies to be able to navigate its way through the swamps or deserts.

Usually, a self-driving car uses tons of map data to be able to perform properly. It’s unclear at this stage whether Cortex would do the same. Our guess is it won’t, as there are other options available as well.

“It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers,” said in a statement Chris Holmes, JLR’s man in charge with connected and autonomous vehicle research.

“Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation.“

For the Cortex project, JLR will be working with the University of Birmingham and machine learning company Myrtle AI. There is no set date for when the project is to yield its first results.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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