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Self-driving electric pod bids to eliminate emissions, crashes and traffic jams

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has launched a “brave and innovative” self-driving electric vehicle.

The manufacturer described its Project Vector concept as “an advanced, flexible, multi-use electric vehicle that is autonomy-ready”.

The pod was unveiled at the National Automotive Innovation Centre in Coventry, which was opened by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday.

It will be trialled on the city’s roads next year in collaboration with Coventry City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority.

Development of the vehicle is part of JLR’s Destination Zero initiative – which focuses on eliminating emissions, accidents and congestion from our roads.

JLR chief executive Sir Ralf Speth said: “Project Vector shows Jaguar Land Rover as a leader in innovation to make our societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner.

“Through this project, we are collaborating with the brightest minds in academia, supply chain and digital services, to create connected, integrated mobility systems – the fundamental building blocks for Destination Zero.

“Project Vector is precisely the brave and innovative leap forward needed to deliver on our mission.”

The pod is electric and ‘autonomy-ready’ (Jaguar Land Rover/PA)

The pod is designed for city driving, measuring just four metres long.

All its battery and drivetrain components are built into the floor, allowing maximum flexibility for the space above.

Seating can be configured for private or shared use, or the vehicle can be used for commercial activities such as last mile deliveries.

Project director Dr Tim Leverton said: “The megatrends of urbanisation and digitalisation make connected urban mobility systems necessary and inevitable.

“Shared and private vehicles will share spaces with and be connected to public transit networks, so you can travel on demand and autonomously.

“Future urban travel will be a composite of owned and shared vehicles, access to ride hailing, and on-demand services, as well as public transport.

“Our vision shows the vehicle as a flexible part of the urban mobility network that can be adapted for different purposes.”