JLR developing ‘smart city hub’ to test self-driving cars

Jaguar Land Rover is creating a ‘smart city hub’ which will allow real-world testing of self-driving vehicles.

The Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI), located across 7.45 miles of the Limerick-Shannon metropolitan area at Shannon Free Zone, County Clare, will see self-driving cars sharing the streets with other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

Jaguar’s electric I-Pace will be used for the testing, which is being conducted in order to further JLR’s research into autonomous and connected vehicles.

The area will be fitted with sensors as well as location systems, alongside a data management and control centre. In addition, smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking and electric vehicle charging stations will be installed. The cars will also have access to a 280-mile section of connected highway, while a managed air traffic corridor will allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be used from Shannon airport along the Shannon Estuary.

John Cormican, general manager for Shannon Ireland Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This partnership with FMCI provides us with a real-world facility to trial our emerging autonomous, connected, electrified and shared technology in a strategic location. Collaborating with top-tier software companies will allow us to develop our future systems more efficiently.”

Jaguar Land Rover will be collaborating with global tech firms on the project, with companies including Cisco, Seagate and Renovo, to name a few.

Russell Vickers, CEO of FMCI, said: “The smart city zone provides a first-class facility for global companies to work together and develop world-leading technology, from autonomous vehicles to connected infrastructure. The testbed provides an opportunity to test in the real world and help answer some of the questions posed by the future of mobility in a collaborative and efficient way.”

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