Jaguar Land Rover is developing autonomous driving tech enabling its future production vehicles to operate safely on conventional paved roads as well as out in the boonies. JLR’s new Surface Identification and 3D Path Sensing tech incorporates conventional cameras with ultrasonic, radar and LIDAR sensors to establish a full 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings. According to JLR’s Head of Research Tony Harper, the package is so sophisticated it can determine surface characteristics down to the width of a tire, even in rain and snow.

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The JLR system is being developed around Terrain-Based Speed Adaption (TBSA) that scans the path ahead and then adjusts the vehicle speed to maintain a comfortable ride when it senses a change in the surface. It also incorporates Overhead Clearance Assist that lets a driver program the height of the vehicle, including any roof racks or cargo pods, into the system to warn of potential problems with obstructions ahead.

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The multi-million dollar JLR Autonomous All-terrain Driving research project also is working to perfect an advanced Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) system that will allow intelligent communications between two or more vehicles to create an Off-Road Connected Convoy. In addition to providing precise tracking status, the setup uses its Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) tech to instantly share data on things like wheel-slip and changes to suspension height or wheel articulation as well as All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and Terrain Response settings – information that could be used to assist other vehicles in the group and/or warn them about potential hazards. While optimistic about the future potential of its new Autonomous All-terrain Driving capabilities, JLR execs have offered no timeline on when we might see the first vehicles with this technology.

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