Jaguar Land Rover wants to manufacture new autonomous cars that will be able to drive more like humans, and less like robots.
The British automotive company is taking part in a project called MOVE-UK, to develop new technologies that would make autonomous cars be a lot safer, as well as more effective. With the research project, scientists want to better understand the behaviour of human drivers in various situations – like driving when the weather is bad, when the roads are congested, or when the routs are diverted due to construction.
Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover, said that cars that react the same way a human driver would, are more likely to be accepted by customers who are looking to buy fully autonomous or highly automated vehicles. Understanding good driving behaviours can make the future car of Jaguar Land Rover be a lot more precise and efficient, Epple added.
For the new MOVE-UK project, Jaguar Land Rover employees will have to drive multiple cars every day through Greenwich, which is a borough in southwest London (notable for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time). As the employees drive the cars, sensors will record how they behave in real-life situations, from going into traffic, to making way for a police car or an ambulance.
According to Epple, for autonomous cars to be successful, researchers have to focus on the behaviour of human drivers more than ever. If car manufacturers want their clients to embrace autonomous cars, they need to understand how drivers react in random situations and implement the techniques they use into the future cars. That has to be done to make sure that drivers trust their cars, Epple explained.
Autonomous mode is very useful because it helps drivers with certain activities like driving in heavy traffic or parking. The driver will be more than happy to let the car take control, if the automated experience feels safe and natural to her or him, according to Epple.
The MOVE-UK research project will cost about 5.5 million British pounds ($7.95 million U.S.) and it will last for three years, officials said.
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