Nissan And Nasa Team Up To Build Self-Driving Cars
NASA and Nissan believe they’ve got a lot to learn from each other when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. So, the two have decided to team up for the next five years and develop a self-driving system that they can use not just on Earth, but also in space. A team of scientists from both organizations will design an autonomous vehicle technology at the NASA Ames Research Center, home to Moffett Field, where Google is also testing its self-driving auto prototypes. The duo will start by building up a fleet of zero-emission robotic cars, presumably modified Nissan Leafs. They expect to start test driving the first one by the end of 2015.
“The partnership brings together the best and brightest of NASA and Nissan and validates our investments in Silicon Valley,” said Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn. The safety technology in the works includes cars that know through sensors they are about to collide and will brake automatically, even if the driver doesn’t do a thing. There are also cars that can park themselves. At its most sophisticated, the technology could replace human drivers altogether, though there are many hurdles to that being put into practice on roads.
Automakers besides Nissan are working on the technology, including Japanese rival Toyota and U.S. manufacturers General Motors and Ford. And companies outside the industry are getting involved, such as Google. The driverless car was the topic of a keynote address by Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields at the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas earlier this week.