Nissan has announced it will bring real-world demonstrations of autonomous driving cars to Britain next month.
It says it will be showcasing next-generation technology through the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, with the on-road demonstrations taking place in London, “enabling the vehicles and their passengers to cover a diverse city environment”.
Passengers, including government officials and technical and safety experts, will be given the opportunity to experience and test the technology in a live environment in a modified Nissan LEAF, it says.
These will be the first demonstrations of Nissan’s autonomous drive technology on public roads in Europe, representing the next step in Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society.
It follows recent announcements that both the refreshed Qashqai and the new LEAF, both coming soon, will be equipped with autonomous drive technology to enable single lane autonomous driving on motorways.
The announcement was made following a visit to the Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, by the Rt Hon Greg Clark, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
NTCE, the European R&D hub for Nissan, is developing autonomous drive technologies as well as new advanced fuel, energy and efficiency technologies, in collaboration with the Nissan Technical Centre and Advanced Technical Centre in Japan.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark 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 in Cranfield, 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.”
Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe, said, “It was our pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield and to show him how we don’t just make great cars in the UK, we create future technology here too.
“Innovation and ingenuity is at the heart of the Nissan brand and its people. We’ve been developing that pioneering spirit for over half a century in Europe and for over 30 years in Britain. With future models secured and cutting-edge innovation being developed right here in the UK, we’re looking forward to a strong future of designing, engineering and manufacturing in the country for customers right across the world.”
He added: “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.”
(Picture: Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe, talks with UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark)