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Nissan, NASA to cooperate on self-driving cars

By Associated Press in Tokyo | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-10 08:26

Japanese automaker Nissan is teaming up with NASA to work on technology that can be used in self-driving cars.

Yokohama-based Nissan and NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, announced Thursday a five-year research and development partnership for autonomous vehicle systems so they can eventually be applied to commercially sold cars.

Nissan is excited about the potential of self-driving cars, which executives say could lead to improved safety, a key feature of future autos along with low emission technology.

NASA researchers will be working with Nissan's research unit in Silicon Valley.

The maker of the Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury models aims to introduce autonomous driving technology to consumers between 2016 and 2020. Ames developed the Mars rover software and robots on the International Space Station.

"The partnership brings together the best and brightest of NASA and Nissan and validates our investments in Silicon Valley," said Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.

The safety technology in the works includes cars that know through sensors they are about to collide and brake automatically, even if the driver does not react. There are also cars that can park themselves.

At its most sophisticated, the technology could replace human drivers altogether, though there are many hurdles to that being put into practice on roads.

Other automakers are working on the technology, including Nissan's Japanese rival Toyota and US manufacturers General Motors and Ford.

Nissan, NASA to cooperate on self-driving cars

(China Daily 01/10/2015 page10)

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