Jaguar Land Rover's autonomous all-terrain driving research project aims to make self-driving cars viable in the widest range of real life situations, on and off-road driving environments and weather conditions.
To enable self-driving technology to work regardless of the terrain, JLR is working on new sensing technologies using cameras, ultrasonic, radar and lidar sensors to give the car a 360-degree view of the world around it and enable it to detect and identify the surface its on.
JLR claim that the sensors are so advanced, that they can help the car detect surface changes down to the width of the tyre, regardless of extreme weather conditions like rain or snow, something that still is an issue for many autonomous car projects.
Tony Harper, Head of Research, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Our all-terrain autonomy research isn't just about the car driving itself on a motorway or in extreme off-road situations. It's about helping both the driven and autonomous car make their way safely through any terrain or driving situation.
"We don't want to limit future highly automated and fully autonomous technologies to tarmac. When the driver turns off the road, we want this support and assistance to continue. In the future, if you enjoy the benefits of autonomous lane keeping on a motorway at the start of your journey, we want to ensure you can use this all the way to your destination, even if this is via a rough track or gravel road.
"So whether it's a road under construction with cones and a contraflow, a snow-covered road in the mountains or a muddy forest track, this advanced capability would be available to both the driver AND the autonomous car, with the driver able to let the car take control if they were unsure how best to tackle an obstacle or hazard ahead. We are already world-leaders in all-terrain technologies: these research projects will extend that lead still further."