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A Nissan LEAF has successfully completed the UK’s longest and most complex autonomous car journey. The project, HumanDrive, is jointly funded by UK government through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK, and nine other consortium partners.

The test vehicles included Nissan LEAFs, featuring GPS, radar, LIDAR and camera technologies that build up a perception of the world around it. 

Bob Bateman, Project Manager for Nissan Technical Centre, Europe, says: “The HumanDrive project allowed us to develop an autonomous vehicle that can tackle challenges encountered on UK roads that are unique to this part of the world, such as complex roundabouts and high-speed country lanes with no road markings, white lines or kerbs.”

David Moss, Senior Vice President for Research & Development in Europe, Nissan Europe, adds: “Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision is to develop autonomous drive technologies for use in all of our cars in any area of the world. The door is now open to build on this successful UK research project, as we move towards a future which is more autonomous, more electric, and more connected.”

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The journey was successfully completed on 28th November 2019, with two engineers on board and monitoring the vehicle’s actions at all times. It put into practice a range of driving scenarios to negotiate country lanes with no or minimal road markings, junctions, roundabouts and motorways. 

The second part of the HumanDrive project looked at how machine-learning Artificial Intelligence technologies could enhance the user experience and passenger comfort of connected and autonomous vehicles.

As well as Nissan Europe, HumanDrive’s partners include: Hitachi Europe, Atkins Ltd. and HORIBA MIRA.

Nick Blake, Chief Innovation Strategist, Hitachi Europe Ltd., says: “Hitachi European R&D developed pioneering AI technology to exploit the plethora of driving data generated from modern cars to improve the comfortability and safety of future autonomous vehicles.”

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