Jaguar Land Rover is the latest automaker to pair with a technology company to develop its future in-car technology.
As consumer tech and in-car tech converge, automakers are spending much more time developing in-car systems that allow greater integration between our daily connected lives and our cars. While companies like Mercedes-Benz are developing their technology in-house, others turn to existing technology companies to improve the technology we use in our cars.
The company has set up a new research and development facility in Portland, Oregon--not far from Intel Labs, allowing a collaborative relationship on research projects. The location also puts Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) within easy distance of technology hubs in Silicon Valley and Seattle, where the firm has already been collaborating with other technology partners. Several programs are already underway, to develop next generation digital vehicle prototypes for what JLR calls "in-vehicle cockpit experiences that connect car, device and cloud".
Such collaborations are a vital part of keeping companies like JLR competitive in an increasingly technology-driven luxury car sector. The new 'Open Software Technology Center' in Portland will complement work already underway at JLR's main product creation facility in Gaydon, UK. Facilities at the new technological base include a multimedia creative suite, innovation spaces, development laboratory and a six-bay vehicle workshop.
No specific projects have been revealed just yet, but like their counterparts at Mercedes, seamless connectivity with handheld devices, cloud-connected technologies and information and assistance technologies will all be on the agenda. According to Elliot Garbus, Vice President and General Manager, Automotive Solutions Division, Intel Corporation, the two companies "...are exploring innovative ways to inform, entertain and assist drivers, and passengers, in a safe way".
The facility, opening in 2014, will be joined in 2016 by long-term research projects at the National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) at the University of Warwick when it opens in 2016--examining vehicle electrification, 'smart & connected cars' and Human Machine Interface.