Electric Range Rover Velar to introduce hands-free driving

JLR (formerly Jaguar Land Rover) will introduce hands-free, eyes-on driving in 2025 with the launch of the first model on the new electric EMA platform, understood to be the replacement for the Range Rover Velar.

Hands-free, eyes-on capability, known in the industry as level two-plus, is the final step towards autonomous driving where the car fully takes over. Currently only the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers L2+ in the UK, although BMW is poised to roll out the feature on new models such as the i5.

The capability for greater autonomy comes with JLR’s adoption of US tech specialist Nvidia’s Drive chip and software combination. The new Range Rover model, to be built in Halewood near Liverpool, is the first to use the new tech, a spokesman told Autocar. They did not, however, confirm that this model is the Velar.

Car makers believe hands-free capability will become increasingly popular among customers, with many willing to pay monthly for the convenience. Ford charges £17.99 a month for BlueCruise L2+ in the Mach-E, while BMW charges from £55 to download the hands-on upgrade Driving Assistant Plus.

JLR has also committed to offering Level 3 hands-off, eyes-off technology in the future. Tom Stringer, product strategy director, said:“I think for the modern luxury customer Level 3 will be a really important part.” He added that it was a “possibility” by the end of the decade.

The first prototype for the electric Velar was spotted testing recently, ahead of a reveal in the coming months.

Range Rover Velar prototype side

A sibling to similarly sized replacements for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, it is tipped to enter production as early as this year, as the current model approaches the natural end of its life cycle, having been launched in 2017.

Details of the next-generation model remain firmly under wraps, but clearly the company remains committed to its more overt road-going focus than the other models in the Land Rover line-up. 

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