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Autonomous Range Rover Sport begins testing on public roads

by Justin King

The self-driving SUV has completed a journey on the challenging Coventry Ring Road.

Land Rover is celebrating a milestone for its self-driving efforts, taking an autonomous Range Rover Sport from private tracks to challenging public roads.

The SUV completed a self-driving lap of Coventry Ring Road, described as one of the UK's most challenging road layouts. The vehicle handled lane changes, merging with traffic and exit junctions, though its speed was limited to just 40 mph.

The Range Rover Sport was equipped with additional navigation sensors, radar and lidar. The system is also designed to safely deal with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles on complicated roads.

"The Coventry Ring Road is known for its complicated slip roads and exits," says JLR autonomous vehicle research manager Mark Cund. "It makes for very challenging conditions, especially when under pressure in the rush hour."

The trial is being funded as part of a £20 million (~$26 million USD) government-sponsored program.

The company aims to make self-driving cars a reality for customers within 10 years.