JLR Creates Irish Smart City Hub for AV Testing

Jaguar Land Rover is creating its own smart city technology hub to advance its capabilities in building autonomous vehicles.

While partnering with global software, mobility and telecoms companies it hopes to prove the viability of self-driving vehicles sharing the streets with cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Its Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) hopes to be a collaborative testbed across 38 miles of public highway “providing the facilities and expertise to harness valuable sensor data, simulate a variety of road environments and traffic scenarios and trial new technologies”, JLR said in a statement. The automaker’s BEV Jaguar I-Pace will be the test mules used for the project.

Sensors will be deployed throughout the site, along with location systems, a data management and control center and self-driving prototype vehicles. It will feature smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking and electric vehicle charging as well as links to a 280 mile stretch of connected highway and a managed air traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Shannon airport along the Shannon Estuary in Ireland.

Collaborating companies include Cisco, Seagate, Renovo, Red Hat, Valeo and Mergon and the facility will be assisted by traditionally testing sites have been established overseas. 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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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