Driverless vehicle in 230-mile Grand Drive

A driverless Nissan car has driven from Cranfield in Bedforshire to Sunderland in the longest autonomous vehicle test in the UK so far.

The Nissan Leaf’s “Grand Drive” involved negotiating country lanes with few or no road markings as well as junctions, roundabouts and motorways.  The vehicle was able to change lanes, merge and stop when necessary.

It’s the culmination of the £13.5m HumanDrive project aimed at investigating how autonomous driving can emulate a natural, human-like driving style.

Researchers say the test vehicles included Nissan LEAFs, featuring GPS, radar, LIDAR and camera technologies that “build up a perception of the world around it. Using that perceived world, the system can make decisions about how to navigate roads and obstacles it encounters on a journey.”

Future of Transport Minister George Freeman called it, “an exciting example of how the next phase of the UK’s transport revolution could look”.

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