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Checking in on Land Rover's connected, autonomous future

Land Rover let me check out a bunch of connected and self-driving off-road tech that it's cooking up for the future. Here's a glimpse.

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Chris Paukert
Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

Switching from gravel to dirt? Surface ID sees it coming.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

Down the road, it's possible to envision a similar unit built discreetly into the bumper housing, perhaps serving double duty as a parking sensor.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

Land Rover will be testing various autonomous and semiautonomous technologies on public roads in the UK soon.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

This screen lets engineers keep tabs on the Surface ID development rig. It would not be found in a production model.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

Surface ID promises to let Land Rovers see the terrain and adjust vehicle systems before actually rolling over it.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

This add-on ultrasonic sensor is the heart of Surface ID.

Land Rover Surface ID development rig
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Land Rover Surface ID development rig

Land Rovers are known for tackling terrain a lot more foreboding than this, and Surface ID will be calibrated to identify all sorts of conditions.

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

Terrain-Based Speed Adaption recognizes the water crossing and slows the vehicle accordingly. Those feather graphics are a visual depiction of the balance the driver chooses between speedy progress and a less frenetic ride.

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

A closer look at Terrain-Based Speed Adaption's key hardware: a high-resolution stereo camera.

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

There's a lot going on in this engineer's office.

Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig
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Land Rover Terrain-Based Speed Adaption development rig

With this test rig display, the engineers can see what the stereo cam sees.

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The stereo cam is discreetly mounted atop a nearly flush-fitting light bar.

1979 Land Rover Series III
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1979 Land Rover Series III

Here, Land Rover's iconic Series III speeds to the woods, where it's more at home.

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Land Rover Defender wades into the future

Land Rover's is due to finally get a replacement soon. Will it embrace advanced driver assist systems, or remain resolutely analog? Only Land Rover knows.

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