Jaguar Land Rover and Ford have teamed up to trial a new connected car system that allows vehicles to talk to each other – and traffic lights too.
The two car-maker giants are working alongside the Tata Motors European Technical Centre to build cars that can communicate with other vehicles on the road. But these futuristic vehicles will also be able to talk to roadside infrastructure; by pinging traffic lights, a driverless car will learn what speed to travel at to ensure that the lights are always on green.
In a press release, Jaguar Land Rover said: “Imagine travelling across central London or Paris without needing to stop at traffic lights because they are always on green. This could be possible with Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory. The car connects to traffic lights advising the driver of the best speed required to reach the lights when they are on green.”
Jaguar Land Rover hopes that this will improve the driving experience and traffic flow, as well as reducing CO2 emissions.
The trials, which are a welcome bid to bring driverless vehicles ever closer, will see Jaguar Land Rover create a dedicated fleet of over 100 research vehicles. These vehicles will be used to test different driverless car technologies over the next four years.
Jaguar Land Rover also wants to warn drivers about cars ahead that brake unexpectedly
Speaking about the news, Tony Harper, Head of Research at Jaguar Land Rover, said:
“We know that there’s a huge potentially for these technologies in future vehicles around the world. Until now we have focused on communication between Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, this collaborative approach is a major stepping stone towards all Connected and Autonomous Vehicles co-operating with each other in the future.”
He continued: “Our aim is to give drivers exactly the right information at the right time and collaborations with other manufacturers are essential to help us deliver this commitment to our customers.”
To that end, Jaguar Land Rover plans to test a feature called ‘Advanced Highway Assist’, which will allow cars to overtake other vehicles automatically, as well as staying in lane – just like Tesla’s Autopilot. Another system, which is called ‘Electronic Emergency Brake Light Assist’, will warn drivers when a vehicle ahead brakes severely or unexpectedly.
Most manufacturers expect that fully driverless cars will hit public roads by 2020, although some semi-autonomous systems are already offered by existing road-ready cars. But yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the newbie car firm plans to roll out fully driverless car software as soon as 2017.
Related: CES 2017
Watch: Tesla Model S review
What do you think of driverless and connected car technology? Let us know in the comments.