When every manufacturer wants to develop its own autonomous cars, Land rover is thinking of taking this challenge even further. Off-road specialist Land Rover wants to introduce an autonomous all-terrain driving tech, that aims to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather conditions.

To enable this level of autonomous all-terrain capability, Jaguar Land Rover’s researchers are developing next-generation sensing technologies that will be the eyes of the future autonomous car. The 3D path sensing and surface identification combines camera, ultrasonic, radar and LIDAR sensors to give the car a 360 degree view of the world around it, with sensors so advanced that the car could determine surface characteristics, down to the width of a tyre, even in rain and falling snow, to plan its route.

Ultrasonic sensors can identify surface conditions by scanning up to five metres ahead of the car, so Terrain Response settings could be automatically changed before the car drives from tarmac to snow, or from grass to sand. 

Terrain Speed Adaptaton uses cameras to sense bumpy terrain including uneven and undulating surfaces and washboard roads, potholes and even standing water. It is then intelligent enough to predict the potential impact of these surfaces on the car’s ride and automatically adjust speed to keep passengers comfortable.

And there is also the ability for vehicles to communicate with each other, especially if they are out of sight around a bend or on the other side of an off-road obstacle.

In a world-first off-road demonstration, Jaguar Land Rover has connected two Range Rover Sports together using innovative DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications) technology to create an Off-Road Connected Convoy. This wireless vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications system shares information including vehicle location, wheel-slip, changes to suspension height and wheel articulation, as well as All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and Terrain Response settings instantly between the two vehicles.