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In a fresh development, Japanese automaker Nissan and NASA are joining hands to advance the technology behind cars that drive themselves.
Yokohama-based Nissan Motor Co and NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, has announced a five-year research-and-development partnership for autonomous vehicle systems so they can eventually be applied to commercially sold cars.
Nissan is hopeful and excited about the potential of self-driving cars, as the company feels that it could lead to improved safety, a pillar for future autos along with low-emission technology.
According to the deal, 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 onboard the International Space Station.
Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said, the partnership brings together the best and brightest of NASA and Nissan and validates their investments in Silicon Valley.
The safety features include sensors that stop cars when they are about to collide and will brake automatically, even if the driver doesn’t do a thing. There are also cars that can park themselves.
The technology is likely to replace human drivers altogether, though there are many hurdles to that being put into practice on roads.