Jaguar Land Rover Ireland’s John Cormican believes the island can be a global leader in AV development, especially the west coast.

While Ireland’s history with actual car manufacturing died off with Ford in 1984, the country is finding itself part of this new and exciting frontier in autonomous vehicle (AV) development, with Jaguar Land Rover announcing earlier this year that it would establish an automotive research centre in Shannon, Co Clare, for AVs and electric vehicles (EVs).

The centre’s general manager for vehicle engineering, John Cormican, has, as a result of this move, become one of the country’s leading figures in AV development and spoke recently at Inspirefest 2018.

In his view, the challenging climate of Ireland – with its wind, rain and sunshine – makes it an ideal testing ground for autonomous cars.

“We have grass on the road, we have sheep on the road, we have stones on the road, we have potholes and we have very interesting weather conditions,” he said.

“If we can get this right for the west of Ireland, we can do it anywhere in the world.”


Words by Colm Gorey