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Jaguar Land Rover R&D Boss Rules Out Driverless Cars Photo:
 
 
Tony O'Kane | Jun, 29 2015 | 0 Comments

The head of research and development at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has said the British automaker has no plans to develop a fully-autonomous vehicle, telling journalists that at JLR "we don't consider customers cargo".

JLR controls the Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover brands.

While companies like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volvo, Google and reportedly Apple are all actively pursuing self-driving tech, JLR R&D chief Wolfgang Epple says it's the wrong approach.

Instead, Epple favours semi-autonomous features that assist the driver without taking ultimate control away from them, such as self-parking.

"We don't want to build a robot that delivers the cargo from A to B," Epple said.

"People want to use the emotional side of the brain and autonomous driving does not generate that experience."

One other factor to consider is the increased usability of autonomous cars, and their potential effect on future car sales.

If one car is capable of dropping the kids off at school, depositing its owners at work then autonomously picking the kids up from school in the afternoon, families could find themselves only needing one rather than two vehicles.

According to banking giant Barclays, that could result in a 40 percent drop in new car sales.

But while Epple isn't a fan of completely driverless cars, he did concede that JLR is working on a range of autonomous features for future models, such as the ability to remotely drive a car via smartphone (handy for ultra-tight car spaces).

Another autonomous feature on the JLR drawing board is a pothole-avoidance system, that is able to detect an upcoming pothole either from onboard sensors or an online database, and take action to avoid it.

Source: Automotive News

MORE: Jaguar | Autonomous Cars | Technology

 
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