Nissan says it will demonstrate autonomous car technology in the UK next month, including on the streets of London.
The Japanese car giant has revealed that some driverless technology will be built into two of its new cars – the Qashqai and the electric LEAF – and it will demonstrate how the technology works on public roads in London to show how it can work in a “diverse city environment”.
Both cars are set to include technology that will enable single lane autonomous driving on motorways.
The tests will be the first Nissan has done on public roads in Europe, using tech that has been in part developed in the UK at Nissan’s Technical Centre Europe in Bedfordshire and in Japan.
Paul Willcox, the chairman of Nissan Europe, said the company was excited about showing off the technology.
“Innovation and ingenuity is at the heart of the Nissan brand and its people. We’ve been developing that pioneering spirit for over half a century in Europe and for over 30 years in Britain.
“With future models secured and cutting-edge innovation being developed right here in the UK, we’re looking forward to a strong future of designing, engineering and manufacturing in the country for customers right across the world.
“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.”
A series of driverless vehicle tests are already under way in six cities around the UK, and in the US Google is testing driverless car technology on the streets of California.
Uber is active in this area too – using driverless cars in Pittsburgh, where it has a research centre as well as a short-lived and controversial test on the streets of San Francisco.
Safety experts and government officials are set to be among those taking part in the Nissan tests as the car giant looks to raise more awareness of its technology.