A Nissan LEAF has driven autonomously from Cranfield in Bedfordshire to Nissan’s Plant in Sunderland, a 230-mile trip – the longest ever in the UK.
The rise and rise of autonomous cars has not quite reached the point where we can all sit back, put our feet up and let the car do the boring stuff when we don’t fancy driving. But it is getting closer.
There are still issues with roads without markings and unmapped areas, not to mention bad weather, but the technology is making big strides, as evidenced by the recent antics of a Nissan LEAF.
As part of a project called HumanDrive – led by Nissan and aided by government funding – a last generation LEAF has driven itself from Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, to their Sunderland Plant, a journey of 230 miles, and all without any human input.
Nissan did make sure they had a chap behind the wheel to intervene if needed – which he didn’t need to – and a tech bod in the passenger seat, but the car did all the work.
To properly test the technology, the route included roads with minimal markings – and none at all – as well as junctions, roundabouts and the A1.
David Moss, Senior VP for R&D Europe, said:
Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision is to develop autonomous drive technologies for use in all of our cars in any area of the world. The door is now open to build on this successful UK research project, as we move towards a future which is more autonomous, more electric, and more connected.
Of course, Nissan’s cars already have a degree of autonomous capabilities with ProPilot, but this is a clear indication of where that technology is heading.