Nissan's next-generation autonomous systems will navigate busy streets and intersections.

Nissan joins the autonomous driving club in the U.K., conducting real-world testing with a fleet of Leaf electric cars east of London. Media representatives were treated to the manufacturer’s next-generation autonomous drive technology, which according to a press release from the company will help its vehicles operate sans input from the driver on highways as well as in urban environments. That includes dealing with busy streets, intersections, and roundabouts.

"This test of Nissan's forthcoming autonomous drive technology in the demanding conditions of London streets underlines our commitment to delivering Nissan Intelligent Mobility to our customers,” said Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior vice president for Research and Advanced Engineering.

Though not quite a trip through the heart of downtown London, participants were given a chance to see Nissan’s latest advances in action. Utilizing millimeter wave radar, high-speed computer chips, laser scanners, cameras, a specialized Human-Machine Interface (HMI), and other futuristic-sounding components, the test cars carried passengers through a variety of environments at varying speeds.


Nissan Leaf autonomous testing in London


Last year the manufacturer debuted its ProPilot system on the Serena minivan for the Japanese market, with expectations for the system to appear on the Leaf and Qashqai crossover later this year. That system is designed only for highway-use with single-lane traffic. The next-generation system for urban multi-lane environments currently being tested in London has already logged on-road miles in Japan and the United States.

Nissan, as well as other major auto manufacturers, are in the odd position of playing catch-up to companies such as Tesla and Google in the autonomous category. Tesla’s autopilot system was first offered in 2014 but gained notoriety the following year. Google’s self-driving car program began in 2009 and has logged over 2 million miles in both rural and urban environments.

Nissan plans to launch the next phase of its autonomous driving technology in 2018, expanding the system to multi-lane functionality on highways. Urban use of Nissan’s autonomous system to navigate streets and intersections isn’t expected until 2020.

Source: Nissan


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