Jaguar Land Rover, known for its luxury sports cars and rugged off-road SUVs, has unveiled a new concept car that is something completely different from what we were used to at the carmaker in question. Jaguar Land Rover named the project “Project Vector”, the future of urban mobility – autonomous, electrical and digitally connected.
“Destination Zero” is a special program that has been intensively implemented by Jaguar Land Rover for the past year. The main goal of the company is to make the company safer and healthier, and of course cleaner. Like many other companies, they want to fulfill this mission through innovation and technology development. The focus of the company is to achieve “zero” rates of accidents, discharges and traffic jams – through its products and services. At the moment, the final stage of this journey, which Jaguar Land Rover is working with in partnership with its partners, is Project Vector – a concept vehicle full of advanced technology that is flexible, electric and ready for autonomous use.
“The compact, flexible vehicle, currently in concept phase, measures four meters and is designed to store all the energy, batteries and other powertrains in the vehicle floor, enabling a wide variety of applications. The revolutionary cab design allows for both private and public use of the vehicle, and in particular the vehicle would be suitable for shorter distances or for delivering larger loads, ”Jaguar Land Rover wrote.
The importance of the project is also evidenced by the fact that Prince Charles himself attended. Project Vector made its official presentation at Warwick University, UK, in the center National Automotive Innovation Center.
Unlike the direction they are heading General Motors and Honda, the Jaguar Land Rover concept vehicle is also ready for classic driving. As we can see in the pictures, it is equipped with traditional parts such as the driver's seat so that a person can take control at any time. The concept of the vehicle is ready for the future when different uses await us, among other things, autonomous driving will certainly be much more commonplace in the future. About when Vector will drive on roads or other facilities, Jaguar Land Rover did not want to talk, and forecasts indicate that it should happen next year.
Autonomous buses and other forms of public transport are becoming increasingly visible
The French company Navya, whose autonomous electric shuttles will start operating in the Japanese city of Sakai, is the world leader in autonomous transport. They released their first autonomous shuttle in 2015. Since then, they have successfully transported over 300,000 people, both on public and private surfaces. A test version of autonomous public transportation was even conducted in downtown Las Vegas, as did the Autonomous Shuttle at the University of Michigan. Exactly for these purposes, these means of transportation are very useful, but there is still concern from people who are not used to this type of mobility. Navya also made Autonom Cab, a robotic taxi for individual transport, or for groups of up to six people. This autonomous means of transport is for urban areas and the first tests are to be carried out by the company in France and Australia.
May Mobility, another Michigan-based company, has developed low-speed autonomous shuttles that are designed to travel on specific routes, especially in corporate, business, or university settings. Just in the meantime, May Mobility is conducting a pilot project in Detroit, Columbus and Grand Rapids.
Optimus Ride operates in geo-limited communities in four parts of the US – Fairfield, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Reston, Virginia and Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. These vehicles are currently still human operators, to be exact two – the driver and the software operator. The company has set itself the goal of being fully autonomous by the end of this year. Such goals are quite ambitious in the light of experience so far, but Optimus Ride claims to be quite achievable.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth points out that delivery of parts of the Vector project has been delayed due to the coronavirus. “We have enough parts for production this week and next week, and then we have to work hard as we are facing a shortage of parts. The Coronavirus not only affects our business in China, but everywhere else. At present, this impact is not yet affected by the more visible negative consequences, which can change quickly, “he added.
“If we happen to run out of critical parts, it can stop all production. We drove individual parts in special suitcases to make sure we have the right parts 100%, ”described the current situation of Ralf Speth. He added that the Jaguar Land Rover factory in China will reopen next week, with enough parts to be produced in the first week of operation.