Nissan has announced that it will test self-driving cars in London next month. The tests will take place on public roads and take passengers in a specially modified Nissan Leaf. This will be the first tests to be carried out in Europe.
The passengers which will include government officials along with technical and safety experts will test the cars in a live environment. During the tests, Nissan will have a person in the driving seat in case an emergency arises.
Nissan plan to bring self-driving cars to the market in the form of future versions of the Nissan Leaf and the Qashqai. Although the test vehicles will be navigating through busy London streets, the technology available to the public will only allow for single lane motorway use.
Nonetheless, the fact that the technology is going to navigate in a city environment does suggest Nissan are ahead of its competitors.
BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes already have these systems built into some of their cars. The Tesla Autopilot can handle changing lanes and more complex routes providing the lane marking is clear or it can follow a vehicle.
Greg Clark, Business and energy secretary said, “Government and industry are working together to build on our world-class reputation for excellence as a leading location for automotive R&D and manufacturing. We want to see centres like Nissan’s continue to develop, making us a world leader in the development and testing of auto technology so we can anchor the next generation of vehicle manufacturing and its supply chain here in the UK.”
Chairman of Nissan Europe, Paul Wilcox said, “In just a few weeks’ time, there will be Nissan Leafs driving on the streets of London using our autonomous driving technology. Nissan Intelligent Mobility is happening right now, right here in the UK and across Europe.”