Tata’s JLR ties up with Harvard to go big on driverless car technologies

Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced a tie up with Harvard University to seek technology assistance for its previously announced plan to build a fleet of 100 driverless cars.

tech2 News Staff August 30, 2016 09:47:50 IST
Tata’s JLR ties up with Harvard to go big on driverless car technologies

Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced a tie up with Harvard University to seek technology assistance for its previously announced plan to build a fleet of 100 driverless cars. JLR's previous announcement spoke about plans to accomplish the same in the next four years so the tie up along with a large grant to Harvard among others does not come across as a surprise.

It was just a month ago, that Jaguar Land Rover announced that it would create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles over the next four years. These like others in the game would be used to test the company's autonomous and connected car technologies.

The Tata Group would be the one providing a $6 million grant to Harvard University and according to The Hindu BusinessLine the same will be used for research not directly connected to the driverless cars, but to technologies that contribute to the same.

These would include areas of soft robotics, advanced materials, and sensor technologies many of which will make it into the next generation of JLR vehicles. The grant will allow Tata to work closely with the quick-paced research in such universities that should also allow the speed up things for the driverless car technologies.

“Because the eco-system which the car provides now is beyond locomotion, so, it is entire computing environment and the personal environment including entertainment but also in various other aspects. So, you can take your phone and it becomes your operating system or you could be driving or sitting in a Google autonomous vehicle and or sitting in a Tata Motors vehicle which has the human machine interface built by Tata Motors,” Gopichand Katragadda, Group Chief Technology Officer, Tata Sons, told BusinessLine.

Jaguar Land Rover has been through massive transformation since its acquisition by Tata Motors back in 2008. The same momentum seems to continue as the next step for consumer and vehicles indeed seems to bend towards diverless car technologies.

The grant however is not limited to Harvard itself. Tata Sons is in the process of joining hands with a total of six universities with a combined grant of $25 million. These would include universities that include (but are not limited to) Yale, IIT Madras and the Royal Society, UK.

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