Interplanetary rover tech aids vehicle autonomy in Silicon Valley

Louise Smyth

Nissan North America has announced an agreement with NASA Ames Research Centre in California's Silicon Valley to collaborate on research and technology development for future autonomous mobility services, including a working demonstration in Silicon Valley. This update to the existing research collaboration between Nissan and NASA builds on previous success to define a new scope of activities into 2019.

Under the terms of the five-year research and development partnership, researchers from the Nissan Research Centre in Silicon Valley and NASA Ames have been working together to advance autonomous vehicle systems. Nissan has now introduced Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM), a new platform for managing fleets of autonomous vehicles, developed from NASA technology. This new phase in the joint collaboration will build on that success to further develop the technology and test the use of SAM for managing autonomous transportation services, ahead of public implementations.

"We built SAM from technology NASA developed for managing interplanetary rovers as they move around unpredictable landscapes," said Maarten Sierhuis, director of the Nissan Research Centre in Silicon Valley. "Our goal is to deploy SAM to help third-party organisations safely integrate a fleet of autonomous vehicles in unpredictable urban environments, for example ride-hailing services, public transportation or logistics and delivery services. The final stage of our existing research agreement with NASA will bring us closer to that goal and test SAM in a working demonstration on public streets."

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