Jaguar to open new car-making factory in Blighty (virtually)

Britain still makes stuff, it's just not real any more...

Jaguar Land Rover has promised to return car manufacturing to Britain, although it will only be simulating cars rather than building them.

It has announced plans to plough £10m into developing simulation technology which will allow designers to mimic the process of building and testing a car.

The programme is a collaboration between the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and four leading UK universities.

Although it might seem more profitable simply to build a car and then flog it, Jaguar Rover hopes to sell its tech to other car firms around the world.

The plan is part of a 20-year scheme to try to position Britain as one of the world's leading manufacturers of simulations. In the future, the Tata-owned car firm hopes to use sophisticated graphics and even artificial smells to give their simulations a whiff of reality.

Bob Joyce, Jaguar Land Rover engineering director, said: "We want to make advances in the simulated driver and passenger experience, including more realistic imagery, sounds and even smells. These projects will help us analyse increasingly complex cars at whole vehicle, system and component levels, as well as enhancing the high performance computers that industry will use in the future to mine increasing amounts of more complex data.

“Jaguar Land Rover believes the UK needs to be globally competitive in industrial innovation. Collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover and academia to develop new automotive applications will give the UK an opportunity to take a lead in virtual simulation technology.”

Vince Cable, the Lib Dem MP and Business Secretary, said he was delighted about the virtual car-making scheme.

“With world-class universities and cutting edge companies like Jaguar Land Rover, the UK is well-placed to be at the forefront of driving innovation and developing new technology," he said. "This investment will support the government’s industrial strategy by boosting the UK’s manufacturing capability and helping to keep us globally competitive.” ®

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