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NASA and Nissan Team Up for Autonomous Vehicle Research

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NASA Nissan Leaf

NASA knows a thing or two about electric vehicles. Hell, they drove not one, but three electric vehicles on the MOON, and that was over forty years ago. They’ve also been driving a remote controlled rover on Mars for the past ten years. Earth-bound electric vehicles should be a walk in the park for these guys. Luckily for Nissan, the folks at NASA have decided to team up with them to advance autonomous vehicle systems by working on a fleet of self-driving Nissan LEAFs.

NASA Apollo 17 Lunar Roving Vehicle

NASA – Driving EVs on the Moon since 1971

Nissan is bringing some impressive tech to the partnership with their current autonomous vehicle research and expertise in developing vehicles from the concept phase all the way to production.

NASA will bring their experience with programming reliable software and human to machine interfaces. Man, this is really starting to sound like a sci-fi movie.

This partnership is the next step in Nissan’s goal for offering autonomous drive vehicles that can navigate in nearly all normal driving conditions by 2020. The space agency will benefit from the research by applying new autonomous vehicle concepts to future space projects.

The unique alliance between a NASA and Nissan should help accelerate autonomous vehicle safety and make space exploration a whole lot cooler for everyone stuck on Earth. We think sending a few autonomous LEAFs to drive around on Mars would a pretty cool marketing stunt for Nissan, but it’s just a suggestion. What’s the point of sending people there if there’s nothing to drive?

Nissan LEAF Gallery