Jaguar Land Rover has shown a system known as All-Terrain Progress Control - as seen in the Discovery Vision Concept -which the company claims “ allows for semi-autonomous off-road driving at slow speed”.
The driver chooses a set speed, and in some situations can stand outside the vehicle and pilot it over obstacles by remote control. According to the company it “allows the driver to become his or her own off-road spotter, controlling the vehicle at very low speed from outside the car using a tablet or smartphone”.
Now while it may sound like a cool party trick to show your friends, it’s clear the brand is serious about bringing autonomous off-road driving to reality. Why should those who like to get their cars off the beaten track miss out on the best new tech?
Speaking with CarAdvice at the 2015 Tokyo motor show, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth answered that question by suggesting that the prototype system would be easy to bring to production.
“You can already do it with your smartphone,” Speth said.
“We’ve tested, and in principle it’s not a big step [to production],” he said. “It’s just a question of whether the demand is given, then we can really introduce it quite quickly.”
“Off-road I guess it’s important because you cannot see always in the car. From a driving position, despite all the cameras in the car already – and, as you know, we have a lot of cameras in the car – from time to time if it’s really critical you might want to step out and see how the vehicle behaves in the environment; stones, whatever is there, and it’s great to have this kind of device.
“Yes it’s a remote control autonomous driving,” he said.
When it comes to viability of the technology across different models - and even different makes, given that Jaguar also has an SUV in its range now (the F-Pace), and the luxury arm Range Rover has plenty of off-road prowess, too - Speth suggested it wouldn't be an issue to share the love.
“All the SUV vehicles, because it’s the same technology.
“It’s software. And if the architecture from the electronics is quite similar, then you just, as an option, can always have it,” he said.