When Algorithms Take The Weel

When Algorithms Take The Weel.

Algorithmically controlled sensors, suspension adjustment and other electronic functions are not what you are supposed to notice when you drive Jaguar’s new XK convertible and coupe. The car’s highly automated driving control, Jaguar engineers say, is supposed to transparently keep you out of trouble — while you embark upon a high-powered sport car driving experience.

During an extreme test of the XK’s handling capabilities, the car only fishtailed back and forth once after I jerked the steering wheel on a wet road around a 90 degree turn while driving at about 60 mph. The car’s back wheels swung first left then right before the XK’s sensors registered a difference in torque between the rear tires and, transparent to me, righted the fishtailing effect by a combination of de-acceleration, tire rotation and vehicle weight distribution control. More often than not, the sensation of flatness, as if there were a vertical force pinning the car to the road, was also felt then and when taking less extreme curves at high speeds.

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