Nissan has recently announced its plans to introduce the real-world demonstrations of autonomous vehicles to the lands of U.K. Nissan said that it will test its driverless vehicles in London in February, where passengers will be able to experience the technology of their modified Nissan LEAF. The company also confirmed that it had been cleared by the UK government to start limited trials.
Nissan's limited trials will apparently see passengers escorted across the roads of London once clearance is approved. However, the trials will not be able for everyone, instead, government officials, technical and safety experts will be the first to try the "real-world demonstrations," with backup drivers present in the vehicles at all times in case of emergency.
The modified Nissan Leaf electric car will have a special suite of radar, laser and camera systems that will be used for the tests. According to some reports, the vehicle will not be available until 2020.
Chairman of Nissan Europe, Paul Willcox, said, "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."
However, while Nissan is confident about its driverless cars, other firms have encountered a lot of problems when testing autonomous cars on the roads. In December, Uber introduced their self-driving cars in San Francisco roads, but it wasn't successful. The firm faced a lot of problems with the vehicles, which include cars running red lights and missing pedestrians. This has led having the firm's permit revoked by San Francisco regulators.
Nearly one in three cars that are made in the UK are manufactured by Nissan, which said to provide 40,000 jobs in the UK. In addition, Nissan's forthcoming Qashqai will be equipped with autonomous drive technology that will enable the vehicle to steer autonomously in motorway lanes.
A study suggested that once a quarter or more vehicles on UK roads are driverless, congestion will start falling. However, a planned change in an insurance policy will leave insurers accountable for compensation to the innocent victims of collisions involving the newly introduced vehicles. Nissan had received an allowance in 2010 from the UK government and European Investment Bank when the company decided to place its electric plant in Sunderland.