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Nissan teams up with NASA for autonomous vehicle technology

Date: 12 January 2015

Nissan has entered into a five-year research and development partnership with NASA  to help advance its autonomous vehicle systems.

Nissan is expecting the partnership to launch some autonomous technology in its vehicle from 2016. The Japanese firm has set 2020 as the timeframe for the introduction of autonomous drive vehicles that have the ability to navigate in nearly all situations, including the most complex situation, city driving.

Researchers in California from Nissan's Silicon Valley Research Centre and NASA's Ames Research Centre at Moffett Field, will focus on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification, all involving hardware and software used in road and space applications.

Researchers from the two organizations will test a fleet of zero-emission autonomous vehicles at Ames to demonstrate proof-of-concept remote operation of autonomous vehicles for the transport of materials, goods, payloads and people.

For NASA, these tests parallel the way it operates planetary rovers from a mission control centre. The first vehicle of that fleet should be testing at the facility by the end of 2015.

Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan, said: "The work of NASA and Nissan - with one directed to space and the other directed to earth, is connected by similar challenges.

"The partnership will accelerate Nissan's development of safe, secure and reliable autonomous drive technology that we will progressively introduce to consumers beginning in 2016 up to 2020."