Whitley, UK: As Jaguar Land Rover reveals InControl Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the all-new Jaguar XF, it has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.
Jaguar Land Rover will now launch an ‘Innovation Incubator’ project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start-ups.
The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need Jaguar Land Rover’s technical help to make these concepts a reality. The Innovation Incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start-up companies for Jaguar Land Rover to work with over the next decade.
Nick Rogers, Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas, rather like TV’s Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den! If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas.”
This support includes a space in a new ‘Innovation Incubator’ centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start-ups. Jaguar Land Rover will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start-ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.
“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland,” said Matt Jones, Head of Future Infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover, who will manage the new facility.
Jaguar Land Rover has already run a pilot for the ‘Innovation Incubator’ programme and identified a project with a US technology start-up called Vonsor.
The innovative Vonsor system is currently under development with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in Portland. The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.
“This is completely in tune with the social media generation. People of all ages love to capture their experiences on their smartphones and share them. The Vonsor system allows you to save both your on and off-road driving adventures, with cameras integrated in the vehicle filming anything from wheels articulating over an obstacle, to the whole family having fun inside the car whilst driving along. Vonsor would allow you to collate all of that footage, edit it together and post it all from the vehicle’s touchscreen – so everyone can share the experience,” said Justyn Baker from Vonsor. “We met Jaguar Land Rover at a start-up pitch competition, and it has been great to get their support and insight. It has helped open my eyes to more possibilities than I had ever imagined.”
INCONTROL TOUCH PRO
Developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s infotainment engineers in the UK and US, InControl Touch Pro is Jaguar Land Rover’s most connected infotainment system ever, and is more than ten times faster than the system it replaces.
The system is so sophisticated that the all-new XF won't just tell you the weather at your destination – it will allow you to send your estimated time of arrival to a friend. The car will then automatically keep your contact up-to-date with your progress via SMS should traffic conditions change and delay your journey. Once you get to within 200 metres of your destination, Approach Mode will share 360 degree street-level view imagery to help you navigate at the end of your journey – and the car will even transfer your route to your smartphone if you are completing your journey by foot or public transport.
This state-of-the art connected car capability is delivered through a combination of a super-fast access 60GB Solid State Drive (SSD), which is around 100 per cent faster than a typical hard disc drive (HDD), and the first automotive use of Intel’s high-performance Quad-Core computing and graphics processor.
Jaguar Land Rover is also the first vehicle manufacturer to integrate its infotainment architecture with a state-of-the-art, ultra-fast Ethernet network. This connects all the modules in the system and operates at an exceptional data transfer rate of up to 1Gbit/second, enabling InControl Touch Pro to handle the enormous amounts of data transfer required of a next generation infotainment system.