Jaguar has demoed a number of new technologies at its HQ in Gaydon, UK, that will help assist your driving in the future.
The new tech won't be available for a number of years, but will look to support the drivers of the future. Previewing the new tech to Pocket-lint, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) stressed that its focus wasn't on replacing the driver, but in aiding the driver as much as possible.
Take its new twist on Adaptive Cruise Control, for example. Rather than using radar detection that can take a few seconds to respond to a car braking in front, the company is trialling a technology it calls Co-Operative Adaptive Cruise Control (A-ACC). The prototype system allows cars to be directly connected together wirelessly so they can react quickly to sudden changes in speed or braking.
Instead of being some 50 metres apart, cars can be just a few metres away from each other braking or speeding up at the same time because of a temporary direct connection between them.
That, says JLR, means that in future you could use roads a lot more efficiently than you can today. On the motorway it would allow more cars on the same stretch of road, better fuel efficiency through improved drag resistance and hopefully less accidents because cars would know when other cars were braking or speeding up.
The system, as we experienced ourselves, works really well. As soon as you change lanes the connection is broken, while any braking performed by the car in front is automatically relayed to the car behind. At the moment the system is only based on two vehicles, but the system could be expanded to considerably more cars in the future, we were told.
Then there is the over the horizon, hazard ahead, and emergency vehicle warning systems. These three different technologies work independently of each other, but all have the same core values: to inform the driver of things going on in their surroundings.
The technology has been designed to alert drivers to hazards like broken down cars, approaching ambulances or emergency vehicles, and general information via road signs to alert drivers that something is coming up. Although JRL is a working to develop this technology, and it is yet to be standardised, the company is just one of 16 manufacturers working to allow cars to talk to each other.
When it comes to roadworks, Jaguar Land Rover has a solution here too, mainly to stop you hitting traffic cones. The idea of Roadwork Assistance is that the more you try to steer into road traffic cones, the more the steering wheel will fight against you to stop you.
Trying the brand new tech at JLR's HQ, the car applies more resistance to the steering wheel the closer you get to the cones. The system works because a sensor created by Bosch has detected they are there and relays that information to the car as it is driving along.
If the steering wheel resistance isn't enough and you get too close, the car will even try and jolt you out of the way so you avoid hitting them.
The technology, which is still in early, stages isn't perfect: we still managed to hit the cones, but it shows what could be possible in the future.
And for those who forget they've got a top box or bikes on the roof rack, Jaguar is working on a solution here too.
Called Overhead Clearance Assist, the feature measures the height of obstructions in the way and then informs you whether you'll make it, or if your roof load is likely to hit it.
It's a clever idea and one that we can see many benefiting from, especially if you go to multi-storey car parks or parking slots that have height barriers to enter. You still have to approach slowly, but at least you won't lose the kid's bikes.
The final tech demonstrated was something called Safe Pullaway. This technology is designed to stop drivers crashing into the vehicle in front when in traffic jams or pulling away from a roundabout.
The system uses a forward-facing stereo camera to monitor the area immediately in front of the vehicle. If objects such as vehicles or walls are detected and the system receives signals from throttle pedal activation or from gear selection that could lead to a collision, the vehicle brakes automatically and the driver receives an audible warning.
JLR say we can expect all of these research projects to appear in its cars in the years to come.