Many in the car industry see driverless cars as the future of motoring, and a major shift for the industry.
Ben Winsor

15 Jul 2016 - 9:35 AM  UPDATED 15 Jul 2016 - 10:15 AM

By 2020, Jaguar Land Rover plans to have tested a fleet of over 100 self-driving cars on UK roads. The first test vehicle is scheduled to hit the streets later this year.

In March the UK announced it would be permitting autonomous testing on its roads.

The government plans to change insurance and motoring rules so that the country is ready for wide-scale driverless car usage by 2020. Consultations began this week.

Many in the car industry see driverless cars as the future of motoring, and a major industry shift. Car companies are racing to perfect the technology.

“Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents,” Jaguar Land Rover's Head of Research Tony Harper said.

He envisages a mixed experience which allows drivers to take control when they want to, or leave the driving to the car at other times.

“In traffic, for example, the driver could choose autonomy assist during tedious or stressful parts of the journey,” he said.

The cars will be tested on highways and in urban areas. Jaguar Land Rover says they will use wireless data sharing to communicate with each other.

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Tesla Motors in the US, recognised as one of the most ambitious companies when it comes to self-driving cars, already has models on the market with semi-autonomous features.

“Maybe five or six years from now I think we’ll be able to achieve true autonomous driving,” CEO Elon Musk said in 2014.

“You could literally get in the car, go to sleep and wake up at your destination.”

Jaguar Land Rover has also been testing semi-autonomous assistive technology in off-road vehicles.

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