Whether it's putting augmented reality ghost cars on your windshield or eye-tracking wipers, Jaguar Land Rover's really aiming to stay ahead of the in-car technological curve these past few years. Having announced that it's preparing to go off-road with its semi-autonomous vehicles, it's now also gearing up to bring the test cars to real UK roads too.
100 of Jaguar Land Rover's "Connected and Autonomous Vehicle" test cars will take to a 41-mile test area around Coventry and Solihull this year. The vehicles, which however still require a driver, will be testing new technologies that will let them communicate with each other, as well as with road infrastructure such as signage and stop lights.
The data it receives from these road landmarks and test runs will feed into some very smart driving aids that the company is also testing.
A "Roadwork Assist" feature will scan roads ahead of the car, keeping an digital eye out for cones and temporary barriers. A slight increase in steering assistance will then be added to the vehicle, letting you weave more gracefully through minor, narrow diversions.
The "Safe Pullaway" feature will be a welcome introduction for anyone that's been rear-ended at traffic lights. Cameras in the front of the car monitor those in close proximity ahead of you, applying the brake if it identifies you trying to pull dangerously away too quickly or in the wrong gear.
One final feature is the "Over the Horizon Warning", which is primarily intended to aid emergency vehicles, but could be useful for avoiding just-occurred traffic accidents too. When connected cars unexpectedly slow or stop ahead of you, Jaguar's connected car system will warn the driver that a likely accident or delay has occurred. In addition, this system could be used to alert a driver of an emergency service vehicle being on its way, long before its lights are seen or sirens are heard.