Driverless electric car completes record-breaking 370km trip
A driverless car completed the longest autonomous journey on Britain’s roads after it self-navigated itself 370km without attracting attention from passing motorists.
A specially modified 2017 electric Nissan LEAF travelled from the car’s firm based in Cranfield, Beds, to the brand’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland.
Over the course of the 370km journey, the autonomous car tackled country lanes with no or minimal road markings, junctions, roundabouts and motorways.
Autonomous technology activated along the route to change lanes, merge and stop and start when necessary. The only moment the passenger took control of the LEAF was to drive into motorway services – in order to charge it.
George Freeman, Future of Transport Minister, said: “The UK is fast becoming a leader in intelligent and automated vehicle and traffic management technology, a huge global sector set to create thousands of jobs.
“Our Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy is supporting transport innovation for a cleaner, greener and smarter transport, and Nissan’s successful HumanDrive project is an exciting example of how the next phase of the UK’s transport revolution could look.”
Nissan worked with Hitachi, Highways England and a number of other partners to produce one of the most technologically advanced autonomous vehicles ever seen.
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi added: “Safely completing the longest autonomous drive in Britain is an incredible achievement for Nissan and the HumanDrive consortium, and a huge step towards the rollout of driverless cars on UK streets.
“This project is a shining example of how the automotive industry, working with government, can drive forward technology to benefit people’s mobility – while helping to slash carbon emissions.”
HumanDrive is jointly funded by the UK government through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Innovate UK, and nine other consortium partners. The joint funding package for the project totalled £13.5m.
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