The test allowed Nissan to collect a vast amount of information. Image Source: Evening Standard

Last Monday, Nissan started testing its driverless cars in East London. The carmaker firm began testing its modified Leaf models. For the first time in Europe, an automaker company was granted a trial to test driverless cars in public avenues.

Nissan released three leaf cars on 25 minute long trips. The cars were equipped with twelve cameras, five radars and four lasers each, allowing them to navigate in complex surroundings. The cars can calculate its position on the road precisely.

The company made a difficult route to test the autonomous vehicles. Nissan’s trial covered many difficulties. The east London route featured stop signs, zebra crossings, divided highways, lane changes, parking lots and speeds of up to 50mph.

Nissan’s global head of autonomous driving, Tetsuya Iijima, said that Nissan’s goal is safety. He noted that 93 percent of accidents are human responsibility, replacing the human factor with computers might reduce incidents.

The test allowed Nissan to collect a vast amount of information. The company affirmed that the cars had covered thousands of miles without major incidents. Nissan’s engineers only had to intervene a few times to prevent incidents.

Driverless technology: Thinking ahead of the curb

Nissan’s spokesman, Stuart Jackson, emphasized the importance of free drive technologies. Jackson described self-driving cars as the future of mobility. He also mentioned that Nissan’s commitment to achieving zero-emission vehicles.

Nissan also held different tests in England. The company tested different prototypes in Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Greenwich. The company did not test the vehicles on public roads this time.

The carmaker also unveiled its goals for 2020. The Nissan-Renault alliance announced its intentions to release ten new models with self-driving functions. The cars will be available in important markets around the world. As for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Nissan announced its intentions to build a fleet of autonomous taxis.

Managing expectations for 2020’s driverless vehicle releases

Iijima warned that the cars available in 2020 would have some limitations. Customers won’t have to worry about lowly populated roads, but in highly populated areas like London, the driver needs to pay attention to the road.

Legislation can become a problem for self-driving cars. Nissan already has plans on competing with major self-driving carmakers with its next Leaf and Qashqai generations, but they depend on each country’s legislations.

As for insurances, under the new UK legislation, the insurers would be the main responsible for paying out damages in self-driving cars’ accidents. Taking into consideration factors like whether or not the car’s software was updated or whether or not the car was modified.

Source: Sky News