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NASA and Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, have announced they’ve teamed up to build a self-driving automobiles that are to be used as commercially cars, as well as vehicles for outer space explorations.
Engineers from Nissan along with those from NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, have signed a 5-year partnership over which both hope to research and develop autonomous vehicles. Nissan’s representatives have shown a great interest in the project. They believe self-driven cars will e very efficient for every day use. Such cars could find their use in aiding disabled people move to their destination, as well as providing a much more safe driving and traveling conditions.
The engineers at the Californian research center are the same people responsible with the development of the sophisticated software carried by the Mars rover, as well as the robots used at the International Space Station. These being said, it seems very likely that Nissan’s predictions to have a functioning self-driven car on the road by 2020, are very likely to come true.
The CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, stated that NASA will constitute great help, as they will be able to provide car manufacturers with unequaled knowledge. Together, he says, they will build complex, dependable and fail-safe operating systems that would ease the connection and communication between machinery and men. What Nissan will bring to the table is their leanings of autonomous navigation systems.
NASA representatives say that although one may overlook them at first glance, there are a lot of similarities between the two parties involved. They explain that guiding a rover on the wild, unfriendly surface of a distant planet is comparable to guiding a rover in the chaos that represents the urban scape: pedestrians, street obstacles, cyclists, etc. Finding technique that will help NASA build a well-functioning self-driven rover is extremely important.
The rover presently existing on Mars is not autonomous. And, as can anyone imagine, having to guide a machinery like that through the deep unknown of space from an uncomprehending distance is most difficult.
The two companies’ objective for the immediate future is the development of autonomous earthly car. The pair hope to have a Nissan Leaf-like, emissions-free car ready for the public by next year.
Rival automakers like Toyota, General Motors and Ford are already looking into their own brand of self-driven cars. The wait shouldn’t have to be long as self-parking vehicles have already been manufactured.
Image Source: Green Car Reports