Public trust of autonomous cars is at a low point thanks in large part to high profile fatal accidents such as the Uber vehicle that killed a pedestrian. Land Rover is still pushing forward with autonomy, and in the case of the venerable off-road brand, it wants all-terrain autonomy. Land Rover is developing off-road self-driving tech in a project called CORTEX.
CORTEX is a program with £3.7m in funding with a stated goal of creating all-terrain, all-weather autonomous capability. The project uses 5D technique that combines acoustic, video, radar, light detection, and LiDAR data in real time. The tech is in engineering right now.
Machine-learning is also used to enable the self-driving car to behave in a more sophisticated way and allow it to handle any weather on any terrain. Jaguar Land Rover plans full and semi-autonomous vehicle tech that will offer levels of automation. The available levels will allow drivers to maintain part of the driving experience.
The company says that its vision is to make self-driving cars viable on the widest range of on and off-road conditions. This is a big challenge with Land Rover famous for off-road prowess. It’s not clear how the system would plot a course for off-road areas that are typically unmapped.
CORTEX development involves algorithm development, sensor optimization, and physical tests on off-road tracks in the UK. Development was announced as part of the Innovate UK third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March of this year.