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Nissan will tests its driverless vehicles in London

Nissan will tests its driverless vehicles in London Science & Technology World Website


In a bid to keep up with its rivals including Tesla and Google, Nissan has announced its plans to bring real-world demonstrations of autonomous vehicles to the UK.

The on-road demonstrations will take place in London in February, where passengers will be able to experience the technology in a modified Nissan LEAF.

The demonstrations mark the first time Nissan's autonomous drive technology will be showcased on public roads in Europe.

Since December, Nissan has been using driverless cars to tow other vehicles around its production facility in Japan. 

The self-driving Leaf cars tow vehicles on a trailer to the wharf for loading without anyone behind the steering wheel.

The technology is currently being tested at Nissan's Oppama production in in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

The Japanese automaker hopes to use the cars throughout the plant by 2019, potentially rolling out the technology to plants overseas in future.

Passengers, including government officials and technical and safety experts, will test the technology in a live environment.

Nissan has converted its LEAF electric cars, allowing them to manoeuvre without a driver.

However there will always be someone sitting in the driver seat, in case of emergency.

The plans follow the recent announcements that both the refreshed Qashqai and the new LEAF will be equipped with autonomous drive technology to enable single lane autonomous driving on motorways.

'In just a few weeks' time, there will be Nissan LEAFs driving on the streets of London using our autonomous driving technology,' said Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe.

Nissan Intelligent Mobility is happening right now, right here in the UK and across Europe.'

While Nissan is optimistic about its self-driving vehicles, other firms have run into problems when testing autonomous vehicles on the roads.

In December, Uber launched its self-driving car service in San Francisco. 

Nissan has converted its LEAF electric cars, allowing them to manoeuvre without a driver – although there will be someone sitting in the driver seat in case of emergency

Both the refreshed Qashqai and the new LEAF (pictured) will be equipped with autonomous drive technology

The firm faced a number of reported problems with the vehicles, including cars running red lights and narrowly missing pedestrians.

The problems led to the firm having its permits revoked by regulators in San Francisco, and it has been forced to move testing to Arizona. 

It is unclear precisely when in February Nissan will bring the fleet of cars to London. 

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