A Nissan Leaf, fitted with GPS, radar, and cameras, has successfully completed a 230-mile journey, the longest and the most complex journey that has been undertaken in the United Kingdom by an autonomous vehicle.
According to Nissan, the advanced positioning technology of the car helps it to make informed choices and decisions about how to navigate between the traffic, roads, and other barriers that it would encounter.
The car started off its journey from Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire and ended its journey at the manufacturing plant of Nissan at Sunderland.
Remarkably, the car traveled on a range of roads that had traffic, and encountered road junctions, motorways, and roundabouts.
The journey was, interestingly, named GrandDrive and the autonomous technology was activated when the vehicle needed to stop, start, or change lanes.
Two engineers were in the car throughout its journey, taking control when the car stopped at service stations for checks and charging.
This initiative is part of a HumanDrive project that is a collaboration between the British government and an industry consortium of nine partner automotive companies that include Nissan and Hitachi. The final aim of this project is to develop an autonomous vehicle control system that is similar to a natural, human driving style.
Bob Bateman, the project manager for Nissan’s Europe technical centre, said, “The HumanDrive project allowed us to develop an autonomous vehicle that can tackle challenges encountered on UK roads that are unique to this part of the world, such as complex roundabouts and high-speed country lanes with no road markings, white lines or kerbs.”
Isn’t this wonderful? Do you think driverless cars are the future of transportation? Let us know your views in the comments section below.