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Tata’s JLR to start testing ‘connected, autonomous, self-driving’ cars on UK roads

 PTI |  2016-07-15 01:01:45.0  |  New Delhi

Tata’s JLR to start testing ‘connected, autonomous, self-driving’ cars on UK roads

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is all set to start testing connected, autonomous and self-driving cars on UK roads, with a fleet of 100 such cars to be produced over the next four years. The first of such driverless cars will hit UK streets by later this year, the company said in a statement.

"Our connected and automated technology could help improve traffic flow, cut congestion and reduce the potential for accidents," said Tony Harper, JLR's head of research. The initial tests will involve vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies that will allow cars to "talk" to each other and roadside signs, overhead gantries and traffic lights.

The plan, which is part of the "UK-Connected Intelligent Transport Environment project” (UK-CITE), was announced by JLR earlier this year to create the first test route capable of testing next-generation vehicle technologies.

It involves the creation of a new "living laboratory" aimed at developing "Connected and Autonomous Vehicle" (CAV) technologies with the help of a new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle test corridor, which includes 66 km of roads around Coventry and Solihull in the West Midlands, to evaluate new systems in real-world driving conditions.

"This real-life laboratory will allow JLR's research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions. Similar research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe so this test route is exactly the sort of innovation infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally," said Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at JLR.

"The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow. These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move," Epple added.

New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three-year UK-CITE project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles. 

Delhi High Court backs Japan’s Toyota against Indian cos in trademark row
Delhi High Court has restrained two Indian auto spare parts manufacturers from infringing on the trademarks like Prius and Innova of Japanese car-maker Toyota and directed them to pay Rs 10 lakh as damages to the auto giant for "knowingly and intentionally" using its brands to earn "undue profits". Justice Manmohan Singh also restrained the city-based firms, its owners, agents and representatives from making, selling, advertising or dealing in auto spare parts or any other product under the trademarks of Toyota or deceptively similar to them.

The court came down heavily on the firm, Prius Auto Industries, its sister concern, Prius Auto Accessories, and the owners, saying they were guilty of infringing the 'Innova and Toyota' trademarks of the Japanese company as well as of passing off their goods and services as that of Toyota. Justice Manmohan said "the defendants' (two firms and their owners) use of these trademarks is malafide, as it takes unfair advantage of such huge goodwill and reputation and aims to encash upon this vast reputation and goodwill.

"Clearly, the impression in the minds of the consumer will be a false one as the defendants manufacture and sell spare parts (which are not genuine products of the plaintiff) and claim that they are compatible with those of the plaintiff's cars. Therefore, the actions of the defendants are in violation of the provisions of the Trademark Act." 

With regard to the 'Prius' name used by the Indian firms, the court said Toyota's trademark 'Prius' "has acquired an excellent global goodwill and reputation" ever since the Japanese car-maker launched the world's first hybrid car under that name in 1995 and it was difficult to accept defendants' claim that they were unaware of this.

The court's directions came on Toyota's plea seeking to restrain the two Indian firms from infringing its registered and well known trademarks. Represented by advocate Pravin Anand, Toyota had contended that the two Indian firms and their owners had illegally obtained registrations for the mark 'Prius' for all types of auto parts and accessories.

Anand had argued in court that the defendants were using Toyota's registered and well-known trademarks without any authorisation, license or permission. Dealing with the claims of Toyota, the court in its 121- page judgement said that while the defendants claimed that their use of the trademarks "Toyota, Innova, Qualis and Toyota device" was in accordance with honest industrial practices, their stand was totally contrary to samples of their products.

"It was found that the said trademarks are not used in order to describe the bonafide description (of the products) but the same have also been used as trademarks and in the similar manner, script and device," the court said and held this claim of the defendants as "false". 

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