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Tomorrow's world: Jaguar and Land Rover showcase intelligent car tech

Published: 11 July 2014

CAR has been given a sneak preview of some of the weird, wonderful and slightly creepy new technology that’s coming to Jaguar and Land Rovers in the not too distant future.

The new tech - including gesture control, next-gen voice control and intelligent windscreens - was shown at an event in Whiteley, where Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) also announced details of its new four-cylinder engines

So what should we expect from Jags and Landies of the future?

1) They’ll be wave machines

Gesture control is the next big thing for Land Rovers and Jaguars say its engineers. Buttons are distracting, messy and confusing so future vehicles, like the next-gen Range Rover, will harness technology perfected on the Nintendo Wii to operate some of the minor functions of your car. So what does that mean? Well, in the future if you want to unlock your car a simple hand swipe across the door handle will do. Indicating left will be a matter of a finger flick in thin air. Opening the window will involve a sweep over the glass, while a cheeky little wave, meanwhile, is all that’s needed to wind back the full-length sunroof. What the BMW driver waiting to be let out of the next junction will make of it all this gesturing remains to be seen.

What it won’t do: Automatically beep the horn and flash the lights when you give someone the finger

2) They’ll always be listening

Careful what you say on board the next generation Range Rover. That’s because future Land Rovers and Jags will always be listening to what you say. That’s because next-generation of voice activation that ditches those commands you can never remember for natural speech will use general conversation to hint what you might want the car to do next, so if little Johnny in the back seat tells you he’s cold, the Land Rover automatically stokes the furnace. If little Jessica, meanwhile, says she really enjoys listening to Justin Bieber as loud as possible you better be quick with the earplugs.

What it won’t do: Have a direct feed to News International

Shhh - the car's listening. New tech means JAguar and Land Rovers listen to your conversation to predict what's going to happen next

3) They’ll be armed with lasers

Future Land Rover and Jaguars will come equipped with lasers - but before you have any ideas of clearing the outside lane with a quick blast of a photon torpedo, think again. Instead, the lasers ‘paint’ images on the road’s surface helping you communicate with other drivers. If you’re changing lane on the motorway, for example, the lasers can create a large arrow on the road pointing to which lane your merging. The same tech can also help you squeeze through gaps by creating a Range Rover size box in front of your car to help you gauge if there’s enough space. Finally, for the more adventurous, the same tech can be used to help you measure the depth of the stream you’re about to wade through, or the high street in Somerset making those embarrassing Youtube fail videos a thing of the past.

What it won’t do: Allow you to do speech-to-text to write a short brief message on the tarmac praising the Audi inches behind you on his precision driving

4) They’ll be self-aware

The creepiest technology being developed by Land Rover and Jaguar is the self-learning technology it’s creating. Using complicated algorithms and artificial intelligence used by the robotics industry, your F-Type of the future will know you better than you know yourself. Using your calendar and driving habits as a starting point your car will begin predicting behavior and even begin offering, what it sees as helpful advice. Like telling you to top up with fuel the night before a long drive, for example. It will also monitor traffic and suggest when you should really be leaving for your meeting. It can even text your colleagues when you’re running late. That wealthy great aunt you hope to inherit everything from? Your car will even remind you to make a daily call to her. Even mundane things like reminding your kids to take their gym kits on the Wednesday school run will all be taken care of. Of course, you can also have some fun too. Your 17-year old teenager will suddenly find he won’t be able to drive more than 29.9mph, while every move he makes can be live tracked - including his lap time of the local town’s one-way system.

What it won’t do: Lie for you when you’re on the golf course and not ‘stuck on the M25’

5) They’ll teach you how to be quicker  

Nailing the perfect lap will be easy in the future if you own a Jaguar thanks to its new virtual windscreen. That’s because, using the entire windscreen, it can superimpose the perfect racing lines onto the screen including braking points and virtual turn-in cones. If that’s not impressive enough a ghost image of your own car can also be included that will practically guarantee you out-brake yourself and plough off the track.

What it won’t do: Help you plot the fastest line through the M3/M25 slip road

Arcade mode - Jaguar and Land Rover use a virtual windscreen to project the racing line and braking points to help you go faster. Sadly it hasn't invented a reset button

6) They’ll adopt F1 technology

On demand oil, water pumps and piston coolers will all help boost efficiency on the next-generation Land Rover and Jaguar engines, but engineers are also developing new tech to boost power significantly. Mimicking an F1 ‘Ers’ engineers are developing e-boost technology that can harness energy from a turbo and use it power the battery to create a ‘torque fill effect’ when you need power. E-boost also spins up the turbo when you need to overtake and could provide an extra 50bhp to help you overtake that tractor.

What it won’t do: Give you residency in a tax haven

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