Automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to develop a smart city hub to enable the real-world testing of connected technology. This includes the simulation of a variety of road environments and traffic scenarios where self-driving vehicles will share the streets with cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
Based in Ireland, the hub will provide research opportunities for autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles.
According to JLR, it will span 12km of public roads, combining smart junctions and connected car parks to facilitate the harnessing of valuable sensor data and offer the unique ability to trial new technologies.
Aptly named the Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI), the facility will be equipped with sensors throughout the site, along with high-accuracy location systems, a data management and control centre and self-driving prototype vehicles.
Russel Vickers (pictured above), chief executive officer at the FMCI, explained: “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.”
As part of the trials, the company’s all-electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, will be deployed for testing.
In the announcement, JLR stated that the FMCI would feature smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking and electric-vehicle charging as well as links to a 450km stretch of connected highway and a managed air-traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Furthermore, the location of the new facility provides JLR with the unique benefit of being very close to an existing facility; its software hub also based in Shannon, Ireland.
As a lead partner of the FMCI, JLR is set to collaborate with a host of other global technology companies to develop the facility, including Cisco, Seagate, Renovo, Red Hat, Valeo and Mergon.
John Cormican, general manager of JLR in Shannon, added: “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.”
FMCI aims to deliver an autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicle test facility located in real-world settings, offering technology companies and researchers the chance to trial and build upon their technologies. The facility consists of a road network that is retrofitted with interconnected sensing and telecommunication technologies controlled via a dedicated control centre.