Japan’s second-largest automotive company, Nissan, has announced that it will collaborate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), through its North American-based organisation, to develop and deploy autonomous drive vehicles by the end of this year.
“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,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co.
“All of our potential topics of research collaboration with Nissan are areas in which Ames has strongly contributed to major NASA programs. Ames developed Mars rover planning software, robots on board the International Space Station and Next Generation air traffic management systems to name a few. We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavours,” said director of Ames Research Centre, S. Pete Worden.
According to the news release by Nissan, researchers from Nissan’s US Silicon Valley Research Centre and NASA’s Ames Research Centre at Moffett Field, California, will dedicate their research efforts on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification.
The first vehicle of the fleet is set to be tested by the end of this year.
Nissan says it expects to introduce autonomous drive vehicles on the market by 2020.