Earth calling Mars, Nissan and NASA to develop self driving cars

NASA and Nissan partnership sees employees from Nissan Silicon Valley Research Center work in alliance with NASA Ames Research Center where development and testing of autonomous drive systems are concentrated to enhance software, human machine interface solutions and network enabled applications.

Nissan Nasa
Nissan and NASA partnership

Both companies have signed Reimbursable Umbrella Space Act Agreement, and will together test a fleet of zero emission autonomous vehicles which works towards augmenting transport of goods, material, payloads and people. The first fleet vehicle should be testing at the facility by 2015 end.

The agreement allows for joint alliance in autonomous vehicle system, robotics, human machine interface and software analysis besides network enabled applications. In the first annex, NASA and Nissan will work together on research and development of algorithms, concepts and integrated prototypes for self driving cars which will be put to the test at the Ames campus and will be much in the same way as NASA remotely operates planetary rovers from a mission control centre.

NASA benefits from Nissan’s expertise in innovative component technology for autonomous vehicles and developments of vehicular transport applications, besides access to prototype systems and test beds for robotic software.

This partnership between NASA and Nissan will enhance Nissan’s safe, secure and dependable autonomous drive technology that the company hopes to introduce to customers starting between 2016 to 2020 says Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co. Nissan looks to introduce autonomous drive vehicles that can navigate in nearly all situations by 2020.

Director of Ames Research Center, S. Pete Worden says potential topics of research collaboration with Nissan are areas in which Ames has strongly contributed to major NASA programs.