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Land Rover is building self-driving off-road SUVs

Jaguar Land Rover’s £3.7m Project Cortex is exploring all-terrain, all-weather autonomous capability using world’s first 5D technology

These vehicles will also be capable of machine-learning, meaning the SUVs will behave in increasingly sophisticated and intelligent ways.

If you thought autonomous cars on urban roads was a scary idea, you might want to look away now. For the clever-cum-crazy folks at Jaguar Land Rover want to be able to one day offer you a car that can drive itself off-road. Up mountains. Over rivers. That kind of thing. We really are entering a brave new world of technology doing everything for us, chaps.

The British manufacturer’s off-road self-driving mission is part of what they’re calling project “cortex”, which is a UK government-industry joint funded initiative kicked-off at the start of the year.

The aim of Cortex is to further develop the autonomous driving push, and aims to take self-driving cars off-road, ensuring they are fully capable in any weather conditions: dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog.

The vehicles will also be capable of machine-learning, meaning the SUVs will behave in increasingly sophisticated and intelligent ways and have the ability to adapt to a range of different conditions and terrains.

These vehicles will also be capable of machine-learning, meaning the SUVs will behave in increasingly sophisticated and intelligent ways.

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As part of the project, a 5D technique combining acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time is being engineered. Access to this combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in.

Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers.

“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. Cortex gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realise this vision in the near future,” he said in a press statement.

Jaguar Land Rover is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of the level of automation, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This project forms part of the company’s vision to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.

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