Jaguar Land Rover will begin self-driving tests in the UK in the near future. These tests will mostly be centered around self-driving valet parking, assisting drivers with getting into parking spaces that may otherwise be a little more difficult (but not impossible) without the help of the self-driving technology. There was no date listed for when the company will begin to start the tests but once they begin they will be taking place in Milton Keynes, located in central England.
The addition of self-driving valet parking is one of convenience though it's not all about making things easier on the driver. It's also about improving the driving experience and the relationship between the driver and the vehicle. This is according to Joerg Schlinkheider, Jaguar Land Rover's Chief Engineer for Automated Driving, who points out that allowing the car to park itself in certain situations will help reduce the stress that can come along with trying to fit into a tight spot, and with that stress gone drivers would be able to "focus on the more enjoyable aspects" of the vehicle that they're in.
Jaguar Land Rover's self-driving efforts won't be limited to valet parking for the driver, as the Range Rover Sport will also begin testing on public roads with the ability to travel up to speeds of 30 miles per hour. This is a fair bit behind other companies who are also engaging in testing and development of the same kind of technology, such as Google, which is going to be ready to start a public rollout of its Waymo vans sometime this year in Phoenix, Arizona. Although that may end up facing some backlash and getting pushed back due to the recent incident involving an Uber self-driving vehicle. For Jaguar Land Rover the tests will start small, but allowing the car to find a space to park and park itself so the driver doesn't have to is likely to be one convenience that many drivers will appreciate once it's available.