Nissan is partnering up with American space exploration firm NASA to develop autonomous vehicles.
The two companies have announced a five-year research and development partnership to advance self-driving car technology and prepare it for the mass market. Outside of autonomous technology, engineers from both companies plan to focus on human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications and software analysis and verification.
Actual test vehicles will be on the road before the end of 2015 at NASA’s Ames research center. Nissan is still promising that it will have a self-driving vehicle on the road by 2020 that can handle even the most complicated of driving situations, including city driving.
“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 Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
NASA will use the research to help improve its Mars rover software, robots onboard the International Space Station and to help develop the next generation air traffic management system. “We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors,” said director of Ames Research Center, S. Pete Worden.
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