Jaguar Land Rover Unveils Autonomous and Electric ‘Project Vector' Shuttle Concept

author: Vineeth Joel Patel   

Jaguar Land Rover, like a lot of other automakers, can’t escape the future of automobiles, which is certainly moving toward autonomous vehicles with electrified platforms. But unlike a lot of other automakers, which are going all-in on electric vehicles and introducing semi-autonomous systems on modern cars, Jaguar Land Rover is taking a different route. Instead, the British automaker is looking to move into the urban mobility landscape. Or, that’s at least what its latest concept reveals.

Urban Mobility Is In JLR’s Future

“Projector Vector” is a four-wheeled electric urban mobility vehicle that looks more like something you would see on an airport tarmac instead of on public roads. It’s a similar look to what other companies are going for, as Cruise recently introduced a rectangle-shaped vehicle that it built in collaboration with General Motors and Honda. Rectangle, apparently, is the shape of the future. Unlike Cruise’s rectangular shuttle, which is a production vehicle, “Projector Vector” is just a concept.

Still, the Vector is a cute concept, with a symmetrical look at the front and back that could fool onlookers into failing to recognize which end is which. The shuttle also has sliding doors that that open from the middle, also similar to Cruise’s autonomous shuttle, for easier ingress and egress into the vehicle. A low floor also helps people get into and out of the machine, while also ensuring that engineers were able to house the concept’s batteries and drivetrain components low in the body.

While Cruise’s shuttle is strictly autonomous and has zero controls for a driver, Jaguar Land Rover thought it best to have a backup plan in the Vector. The British automaker’s shuttle comes with front-facing seats and a steering wheel for a human to control it. Jaguar Land Rover, knowing that things would eventually go autonomous, ensured the vehicle would be highly configurable, allowing for full autonomy down the road. The Vector is also capable of being configured to transport cargo or human passengers, depending on need.

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Part Of A Larger Goal

The Vector isn’t all smoke and no substance. Jaguar Land Rover claims that the automaker is working with the Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority to introduce a pilot mobility service featuring the Vector as soon as 2021.

“Projector Vector” is more than just Jaguar Land Rover’s way of ensuring it stays relevant in an autonomous future. The shuttle is electric, which means that it’s also part of the automaker’s plan to achieve zero emissions under its Destination Zero. That goal also includes zero accidents and zero congestion.

Jaguar Land Rover’s autonomous and electric shuttle can’t arrive any sooner for the brand. Britain is expected to introduce a ban on the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles starting in 2035. If automakers, especially ones that are based out of Britain and use the country as a major source of income, don’t introduce electric vehicles soon, they’re sure to go extinct.

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