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Jeep advances off-road autonomous driving

Autonomous driving technology set to make off-roading easier with help from AI

14 Aug 2023

IN LINE with parent company Stellantis’ development of autonomous driving tech, Jeep has provided a glimpse of its autonomous off-road driving system that utilises advanced AI.


The 4x4 manufacturer used the recent National Autonomous Vehicle Day in the US to provide a heads-up of its future generation of advanced off-road driving technology.


The Jeep demonstration in Moab, Utah, was led by Neda Cvijetic, head of AI and Autonomous Driving at Stellantis.


Ms Cvijetic said the autonomous system shown in Jeep prototypes was being exclusively developed for the Jeep brand.


The system would potentially alleviate the impost of driving off-road for people working in that environment but is thought in some circles to have scant relevance for the majority of recreational off-road drivers who enjoy the experience behind the wheel off the beaten track.


The vehicles used were two electrified Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe models, plug-in hybrids that were using AI and autonomous off-road driving technology to “enhance the experiences of seasoned off-roaders”.


The Jeep team placed a focus on customers who were new to driving the trail adding that the autonomous driving tech under development will also help owners in challenging everyday driving conditions.


Jeep claims it is at the forefront of developing automated off-road driving technology that functions in sync with the brand’s rapidly expanding 4xe electrified SUV line-up.


“In the same way that our 4xe electrification takes Jeep brand’s off-road capability to new heights, these advanced off-road driving systems will help more customers in more countries around world join and enjoy the adventure,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier.


“These features and technology will have real-life applications on and off the trail in a wide range of driving conditions.”


Jeep is tapping Stellantis technology for its own applications as the parent company has a continuous development program for various systems including utilising partial automated functions in concert with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).


Stellantis says further evolution of these systems is being driven by the need for safety improvements and by customer expectations for even greater ADAS functionalities.


 “Stellantis is committed to the continued development of autonomous driving technologies which will pave the way for the mobility of the future, leveraging on both its internal capabilities and decisive partnerships with tech leaders,” it said in a statement.


The manufacturer has already launched what it says is “The best Level 2 automation driving solution and continues to address new progressive features”.


“We also extensively tested the potential of Level 3 autonomy, driving nearly one million kilometres on public roads,” it added.


“The L3 Pilot project in Europe carried out technical performance tests in different operational scenarios and tests with users (automated driving demonstration with a trip from Paris to Hamburg).


“In addition, we are working on Level 3 and Level 4 solutions using high capacity 5G communications with technology partners such as BMW and Waymo.”


The Waymo collaboration began in 2016 through an exclusive tie up with Stellantis as their preferred partner on the development and testing of L4 autonomous light commercial vehicles.


Jeep says it will release a full video showcasing the future generation of its advanced autonomous off-road driving technology this year.

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