Jaguar Land Rover wants humanlike behaviour for robotic cars

Jaguar Land Rover wants to make autonomous vehicles behave more like humans, and less like robots.

ITPro reports how the company is looking into how humans behave in specific situations, like slow-moving traffic, roadworks and busy junctions.

I’m not entirely sure why anyone would want to build a robot car that’s going to honk maniacally every time someone slows down for no apparent reason, and would love to know if the car is going to cuss at jaywalking people, or will that be left to the ‘real’ humans.

Jokes aside, Jaguar Land Rover says it’s important to know how humans behave behind the wheel and try to emulate that behaviour, in order to make humans feel more relaxed around autonomous cars. Bosch and Direct Line Group are also partners in the project.

“To successfully introduce autonomous cars, we actually need to focus more on the driver than ever before," said Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover.

"Understanding how drivers react to a range of very dynamic and random situations in the real world is essential if we want drivers to embrace autonomous cars in the future.”

"By understanding and measuring positive driving behaviours we can ensure that an autonomous Jaguar or Land Rover of the future will not simply perform a robotic function,” he said.

The research is a part of a £5.5 million project, with a goal of developing specialist insurance for autonomous vehicles. The MOVE-UK initiative was announced yesterday by Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, alongside a £2.75 million grant from Innovate UK to help fund the research.