Nissan has announced they will be the first car manufacturer to put autonomous cars on public roads in Europe – being cleared by UK Government to begin trials in Britain.
Just to highlight before I get your hopes up a little too high, Nissan are still waiting on final approval from an anonymous local authority here in Britain before it can begin testing the new vehicle – a self-driving Leaf built in the company’s Sunderland factory – in an unspecified London borough.
But I’ve got to say it… Damn this is exciting.
“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,” Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe said.
Once approval has been given, Britain will be the first country in Europe to get their hands on autonomous drive technology, as Nissan runs secret tests by driving passengers on select routes within this nation’s dense capital.
This is one significant part of the UK’s ambitions (with the sheer force of £100 million) to become a leader in Europe with the infrastructure for driverless cars. And this announcement comes off the back of Nissan announcing a brand new Qashqai and Leaf with built-in self-driving technology.
"Government and industry are working together to build on our world class reputation for excellence as a leading location for automotive R&D and manufacturing. We want to see centres, like Nissan's here in Cranfield, continue to develop, making us a world leader in the development and testing of auto technology so we can anchor the next generation of vehicle manufacturing and its supply chain here in the UK," Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark commented.
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.