The Almost Autonomous Land Rover

Land Rover has recently announced its plans to accelerate its development of semi-autonomous cars.  A fleet of more than 100 research vehicles will be created over the next four years to develop its “autonomous and connected technology.”

However, these vehicles won’t be fully autonomous just yet, and will instead focus on more basic features.   JLR is developing four key skills for its cars. These include the ability to recognize potential obstacles using a forward-facing camera; brake automatically before a potential collision; communicate car-to-car to share information; and recognize when emergency service vehicles are approaching. These are certainly useful features, but they’re a far cry from the advances in self-driving tech made by companies like Google.

Land Rover’s lead engineer for the project, Matt Reed, explains how the connected vehicles communicate via Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) boxes installed in each SUV to successfully off-road.

“Currently, what we’ve got is two DSRC boxes from a company called Cohda Wireless and they use their software put into the car by their vehicle CAN Bus [network],” Reed explained. “The CAN Bus is a vehicle-level network, which all current OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturers] have, which contains lots of the driving data. You’ll have everything from ignition the car is in to things like the vehicle speed, the direction of travel, the GPS location, all of that information, which is used by the vehicle’s internal module to do everything from cruise control to turning your lights on and off.”

“These boxes are connected to that network and we fix the signals that we want to look at, such as vehicle articulation, vehicle speeds and location, and then using that network, we pick off the information, which could be transmitted to a second car,” he continued. “The transmission is through those boxes and it’s using a 5.9 GHz DSRC.”

The research will take place on a 41-mile test route in the Midlands near the company’s headquarters, but could eventually move onto public roads. Earlier this year, the UK government said it wants driverless cars to be able to be insured like normal vehicles by 2020, essentially clearing them for use on regular roads.


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The Cena Surprise

WWE Superstar John Cena surprised two U.S. Invictus Games competitors and their family members with an unforgettable VIP chauffeur experience inside a ravishing Range Rover Sport SVR.

Cena, an Invictus Games ambassador for Jaguar Land Rover, picked up unsuspecting U.S. team members Tino Ulli and his girlfriend Shari Trujillo and Joshua Jablon and his girlfriend Lindsey Green, and chauffeured them to ESPN Wide World of Sports, the venue for the Games that were hosted in Orlando in May.

Cena said, “I’m honored to be part of the Invictus Games in Orlando this year and have the opportunity to meet with some of the US team. It was a lot of fun taking on the role of surprise chauffeur and I was pleased to have the opportunity to get to know the competitors and their family members. We are all indebted to our servicemen and women and I fully support the Games and the opportunity it gives us all to recognize the heroes of our nation. I wish all the competitors the very best of luck for the final stages of the Games.”

Joshua Jablon, a retired Marine Lance corporal from Mankato, Minnesota who is affected by invisible injury PTSD, has earned a silver medal in discus throw and gold in shot-put during the Games.  Tino Ulli is a retired Air Force Staff Sergeant competing in rowing, powerlifting and shot-put, and is also affected by PTSD.

The wrestling legend was also featured in the Invictus Games Closing Ceremony, presenting the ‘”Land Rover Above and Beyond Award” to an individual who has gone above and beyond not only what is expected as a competitor, but also as a teammate at the Invictus Games. It is judged on sportsmanship, commitment to the Games and demonstration of an inspiring example of “Invictus Spirit”.

After the conclusion of second edition of the Games, Land Rover announced that it will continue as Presenting Partner of the 2017 Invictus Games to be held in Toronto, Canada.


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The Ultimate Towing Test

Land Rover once again put one of its infamous SUVs to test this month, with the Discovery Sport hauling three luxury train carriages weighing 108 tons along a railway track in demonstration of its impressive towing capability.

This spectacular feat took place at Museumsbahn Stein am Rhein in Switzerland, crossing the River Rhine on the  Hemishofen bridge – a historic landmark measuring 935 feet long and soaring 85 feet above the valley floor.

The 10 kilometer journey put the compact Discovery Sport’s pulling power to the ultimate test. Though the Discovery Sport has a certified maximum towing weight of 2,500kg, it was able to pull 60 times its own weight, powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 180PS Ingenium diesel engine providing 430Nm of torque.  In addition, the Discovery Sport benefitted from Land Rover’s portfolio of towing and traction technologies such as Terrain Response, Tow Assist, Tow Hitch Assist and All Terrain Progress Control – a semi-autonomous off-road driving system that automatically manages engine output and braking, to complete the stunt.

The stunt was something of a re-creation of the feat the same company achieved in 1989 when the first-generation Discovery pulled a train of cars in Plymouth, UK. Only this time Land Rover did without the Disco I’s low-range gearbox. Instead, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine rated at 177 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and assisted by high-tech gadgetry including semi-autonomous All Terrain Progress Control and Tow Assist systems.

Land Rover has introduced game-changing technologies that help take the stress out of towing for our customers, and although we wouldn’t recommend trying any of these stunts at home, it’s impressive just the same to see what the Discovery Sport is capable of.


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“Tile” by Land Rover

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport is the premium SUV that never forgets, thanks to the world-first integration of Tile’s advanced tracking app!

Land Rover is the first to incorporate this ground-breaking technology that will help you find your lost items.   The app uses Tile tags, which are tiny Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to important items such as your keys and wallet, and is used to track their whereabouts using smartphone technology.   Once the app is initiated using the central touchscreen, customers are alerted if specified items are not inside the vehicle and are even able to get on-screen directions to their last known location.

Peter Virk, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Connected Technologies & Apps, said:  “Losing your wallet or leaving your child’s sports kit behind isn’t just an inconvenience. The realization you’ve mislaid something important can be a cause of distraction. Our unique partnership with Tile means customers can check the status of tagged items using Discovery Sport’s touchscreen, so forgotten items will be a thing of the past.”

Jaguar Land Rover is the first automotive company to integrate Tile with its in-car entertainment system. The partnership allows customers to establish a list of “Essentials” using the vehicle touchscreen, which are always checked when the app is initiated. If items are lost inside the vehicle, customers are able to sound a 90-decibel alarm on the Tile tag, to help locate them.

The Tile smartphone app is compatible with both Android and Apple platforms and the number of items that can be tracked is limitless.    To find out more about Tile, call or visit Land Rover Frisco and one of our friendly team members will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Evoque Updated + Limited Edition

Land Rover is celebrating the more than 500,000 Range Rover Evoques sold, by introduced enhanced technology, increased customer choice and an exquisite Limited Edition.

Having won over 182 international awards since its launch in 2011, the Evoque is widely regarded as the world’s most desirable luxury compact SUV. To further enhance the global appeal of the sector defining vehicle, Land Rover is introducing the stunning “Ember” edition, complete with a bold red and black theme adding an individual touch for customers wanting an even more distinctive design.

The latest Range Rover Evoque now offers next-generation InControl Touch Pro infotainment that includes a 10.2-inch tablet-style touchscreen complete with streetview map options and a customizable home screen.  The touchscreen behaves like a smartphone or tablet with swipe, pan and pinch to zoom controls and provides a clearer 21:9 super-wide format with 1280×542 pixel resolution – an 80 per cent increase over the Evoque’s standard eight-inch touchscreen

The red and black themed “Ember” Limited Edition builds on the attributes of the Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic with striking exterior and interior details.  A distinctive Firenze Red roof contrasts with the Santorini Black body color and is complemented by matching exterior design elements, including the front and rear tow eye covers and Satin Black 20-inch alloy wheels.

Phil Simmons, Land Rover’s Studio Director for Exterior Design Realisation said: “We wanted to give the Range Rover Evoque Ember Limited Edition a sporty feel; contrasting the intensity of the Firenze Red with Santorini Black really shows off the Evoque’s stand-out proportions.”

Evoque customers will also be able to choose from a wider range of exterior body colors than before.  The addition of Aruba, Farallon Black, Carpathian Grey and Silicon Silver premium metallic paint finishes takes the total number of color options to 18.

The Range Rover Evoque “Ember” will be available to order for a three-month period this summer in select markets.


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