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Jaguar Land Rover testing new self-parking valet, V2X tech

The British automaker is trialling next-gen automated and connected-car tech on public roads.

Land Rover's self-park valet test vehicle
Frank Leavesley/Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is testing a new self-parking "valet" system on public roads in the UK.

Unlike most production systems that facilitates semi-automated parking with a driver at the wheel shifting the transmission into drive, reverse and park, the Jaguar Land Rover system allows for vehicles to find a space and park themselves in fully automated fashion.

The test, which involved a Land Rover Range Rover Sport prototype functioning in automated driving mode at up to 30 mph, took place on public roads in Milton Keynes, a town in southern England. 

Land Rover is testing fully self-parking tech in Milton Keynes.

David Parry/Land Rover

"We're investing heavily in automated technologies to make our customers' lives safer and more convenient. Reducing the everyday stresses of driving -- like squeezing into a tight parking place -- means that we can all focus on the more enjoyable aspects of our cars," said Joerg Schlinkheider, JLR's chief engineer of automated driving, in a statement.

On the road to fully self-driving cars, remote self-parking vehicles are seen as a potentially important step to reducing urban congestion. Such tech could reduce the need for nearby parking in crowded city centers and potentially improve safety in parking lots, a frequent spot for minor accidents.

In addition to valet self-park tech, JLR confirms it is also furthering its work on new V2V and V2X technology -- inter-car and car-to-infrastructure technology. Its latest connected-car developments include Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) tech that alerts drivers of nearby emergency vehicles (including which direction the vehicle is coming from). 

No, this isn't a video game. This is how JLR's automated-drive tech visualizes parking lots.

Frank Leavesley/Land Rover

Additionally, Electronic Emergency Brake Light alerts nearby vehicles when another motorist's car or truck is undergoing heavy braking.

In addition to testing these technologies, Jaguar Land Rover previously revealed that it has begun testing Level 4 autonomous vehicles on public roads, and it hopes to offer that level of automation to the public within the next decade. The English automaker also showed off some unique automated off-road driving technology in 2016, a development that could be key toward helping the brand stand out if and when on-road self-driving tech becomes commonplace.