Jaguar Land Rover Limited, the British automotive company, along with Ford Motors and Tata Motors European Technical Centre announced that its newest cars will be able to communicate with traffic light as part as their sophisticated mechanism of self-driving cars.

Ford also announced that in the upcoming vehicles a similar technology will be available, solving one of the most common issues in self-driving systems: The lack of communication with other traffic mechanisms. 

2013 Range Rover Evoque Sicilian Yellow Limited Edition interior. Image Credit: Auto-types

The UK Autodrive Project

Both initiatives are part of the UK Autodrive Project, the largest consortia trialing automated vehicle technology as part of a government project to support the implementation of self-driving vehicles into the United Kingdom.

It started this year and aims to perform programs until 2018, executing vehicle trials, and exhibits of new mechanisms of technology.  The goal is to integrate autonomous and connected vehicle into urban environments, solving congestion and other everyday challenges.

The project aims to provide insight to legislators, insurers, investors, and final consumers about the commercial operation of electric-powered self-driving units at a city scale.

The companies that are providing vehicles for this trials are Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors European Technical Centre, to examine the potential benefits of having cars communicating with other elements, included but not limited to other cars and traffic lights.

The new system: Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory

It is a mechanism of communication to inform drivers about the nearest traffic lights and their current status, which will allow the driver or the self-driving system to adjust speed to reach the estimated needed to reach the traffic light avoiding the red light.  Cars won’t be able to control traffic lights.

The initiative is to provide drivers a better mechanism to save time and drive efficiently, but it is also a project to add value to self-driving systems and urbanity mechanisms to control congestion. The technological advance is valuable for the vehicle industry but also to local authorities, police forces, patrols, and lawmakers.

This mechanism aims to generate an environment modern enough to allow vehicles communicate with the entire city’s infrastructure, making cities more futuristic than ever.

A second system is being developed: Electronic Emergency Brake Light Assist, to allow car-to-car communication and generates warnings and execute emergency moves to respond to unexpected heavily braking.

About Jaguar Land Rover

The company currently has five facilities for manufacturing and vehicle assembly in the United Kingdom and one in India. Last year, Jaguar Land Rover invested almost two million euros in research and development of technologies for its products.

This brand has been working on developing technologies for self-driving cars that can also self-learn. This type of vehicle is designed to reduce driver distraction, using artificial intelligence techniques to make the car learn the driver’s habits.

The vehicle will be able to identify the driver’s preferences in terms of behavior inside the vehicle, such as what radio station is the most frequented, implementing the choices automatically after just two weeks of the vehicle being used.

The data learned is stored in cloud services, making the information available for the driver at all times.

Source: UK Autodrive