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Land Rover’s Project CORTEX is taking the fun out of off-roading

By Matt Raudonikis, 30 May 2018 News

Land Rover’s Project CORTEX is taking the fun out of off-roading

Land Rover’s Project CORTEX to take autonomous tech off-road.

LAND Rover in the UK is taking its autonomous vehicle technology off-road, developing vehicles that can drive themselves over any terrain.

We don’t know about you, but we actually enjoy driving cars and being able to drive them off-road. Taking that ability away has absolutely no appeal to us.

Thankfully Land Rover’s autonomous tech won’t fully take away the driving experience. The company is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of the level of automation, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience.

This project forms part of the company’s vision to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of weather and real-life, on- and off-road driving environments.

“It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers.” said Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover. “Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation.”

4x4 Opinion: The pros and cons of driverless cars

Project CORTEX will develop the technology through algorithm development, sensor optimisation and physical testing on off-road tracks in the United Kingdom. The tech will use acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time to ‘view’ the terrain and guide the vehicle over it using the correct vehicle systems.

Access to this combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in. Machine-learning enables the self-driving car to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way, allowing it to handle any weather condition on any terrain.

Autonomous off-roaders might be a way off yet, but it is something we’d rather live without.