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Nissan reveals new self-driving car tech partnership

The evolvAD Nissan-backed research project aims to bring autonomous mobility to UK residential and rural roads

Nissan has announced a new autonomous driving research project that it claims will help drivers in residential and more rural locations around the UK. 

Over the next 21 months, the Japanese manufacturer will act as the technical lead alongside four other transport and tech partners, including Connected Places Catapult, Humanising Autonomy, SBD Automotive and TRL - with the focus being to ensure that the UK supply chain is ready for when autonomous driving technology is rolled out on a wider scale.

Forming part of Nissan’s Ambition 2030 long-term vision, the development phase of the project has been up and running since July, with Leaf EVs being used in simulation scenarios and on private test tracks. 

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Initial testing is expected to take a few more months, after which Nissan will challenge its Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) on a variety of urban and complex rural roads. 

Using infrastructure such as CCTV in residential areas, the evolvAD CAVs will be able to receive information to improve situational awareness on the road. Nissan’s engineers will also look to learn from any on-road data and create a better understanding of how vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) technologies can be enhanced.

Nissan will also trial the system on more challenging rural roads to see how autonomous driving technology copes with the move away from straighter A-roads and motorways.

“In our previous research projects, our AD team and partners have tackled highways and complex city environments. Now we move onto our next challenge – built up residential streets and rural roads.” said Robert Bateman, evolvAD Project Manager. “To bring autonomous driving to market, we must test and trial the technology on as many different road types as possible and that’s why projects like evolvAD are so important.”

The announcement comes after Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida stated that Nissan would continue with its plans to go all-electric by 2030, despite the government pushing back on its net-zero strategy and extending the timeline to 2035.

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Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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