British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to accelerate its development of semi-autonomous cars. According to a report from Reuters, the carmaker will create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles over the next four years to develop its "autonomous and connected technology."
connected cars are great, but they're not self-driving
However, these vehicles won't be fully autonomous, and will instead focus on more basic features. According to a report from Wired UK, Jaguar Land Rover is developing four key skills for its cars. These include the ability to recognize potential obstacles using a forward-facing camera; brake automatically before a potential collision; communicate car-to-car to share information; and recognize when emergency service vehicles are approaching. These are certainly useful features, but they're a far cry from the advances in self-driving tech made by companies like Google.
The research will take place on a 41-mile test route in the Midlands near the company's headquarters, but could eventually move onto public roads. Earlier this year, the UK government said it wants driverless cars to be able to be insured like normal vehicles by 2020, essentially clearing them for use on regular roads. Jaguar Land Rover will have to develop its self-driving tech a bit quicker though if it wants to take full advantage of this change.