Land Rover Defender Blog

Future Land Rovers won’t be simple machines!

Land Rovers are now a collection of hugely intricate systems

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

August 23, 2017

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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Car manufacturers are always developing new and futuristic concepts that, 5 years later, became an industry standard. There is no stopping progress and over the years, we've seen Land Rovers go from simple, hardy machines to a collection of complex and intricate systems - all housed within a vehicle. Looking at the Discovery 5 for example, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a prop from the latest Sci-fi blockbuster (as an aside, if you love cars in movies, check out this excellent quiz from Reg-Transfers)

Despite what many a die-hard Landy fan might say, technology isn't bad in itself though. Whilst these technological advancements may make DIY maintenance & repair on the drive much more difficult, they do have many advantages. In fact, Land Rover are applying technology in a way that will improve off-roading safety & abilities.

Self-driving automobiles

30 years ago, the only self-driving car we knew about was "KITT" from Knightrider. Today, automated driving development is accelerating at an incredible pace. Tesla is well known for it's production cars that boast semi-autonomous motorway driving features. But Land Rover too are researching all-terrain self driving tech. The above video shows some of that research, demonstrating how a future Land Rover will be able to analyse and adapt to upcoming terrain for controlled hill-climbs for example. One of the systems in development automatically reduces speed for river crossings, in theory, creating a replicate able, perfect bow wave - everytime.

The connect convoy research aims to give Land Rovers the ability to share information about terrain and car data between vehicles that are linked. Vehicles in the convoy can generate alerts and advisories for the best way to tackle complex off-road sections. Even wheel slip and suspension telemetry will be distributed,  tailoring each subsequent passover of the same ground to refine the terrain response system.

Perhaps one of the more exciting concepts is the remote control Range Rover shown in this video from Land Rover:

The main benefit of this feature is that you could be your own off-road spotter! Imagine encountering a tricky and rough rock section. But you're on your own! Using your smartphone, you could exit the vehicle, and control the steering, throttle and brakes to comfortably navigate your way across the rocks! This would dramatically reduce the risk of hitting a low point of the vehicle and causing damage!

Personal Assistants

One of the most memorable elements of the Knightrider tv show were the whimsical conversations held between the car and driver. Huge electronic companies like Apple, Google and Amazon have already had personal assistants on the market for years, with the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google home. Land Rover have been working on a personal assistant for their vehicles for a number of years, some of the features include:

  • The computer can detect who is driving and pre-set mirrors, steering whee and seat and interior temperatures to suit each driver.
  • Interior temps can be altered based upon weather
  • Integrated with calendars for special events and generates reminders, such as to make an important phone call or fill up with fuel before going on a journey
  • Car can inform contacts if we are going to be late via email or phone
  • 'Learns' about an individuals driving style and adapts to suit

Built-in Jacks

Technically, not a new development, this has been around in motorsport for many years, as this Bowler Wildcat demonstrates:

The components behind an in-built jack are relatively simple, requiring a hydraulic cylinder (or several in the case of Formula One cars) and a pump. The benefits are obvious as are the safety improvements over an included scissor lift jack. Incorporating a lifting system like this could greatly reduce the time taken to change a wheel.


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