Servcity’s Nissan Leaf drove 1600 miles around Greenwich, London
Nissan claims the Servcity project it backs with the UK government will help self-driving cars to navigate cities
A Nissan-backed autonomous mobility project will help cities to deliver ‘robotaxi’ services now that it has concluded testing, the Japanese manufacturer has claimed.
The Servcity project, supported by the UK government, used a Nissan Leaf to autonomously drive 1600 miles around “complex urban environments” in Greenwich, London.
The Servcity Leaf relied on a connection with the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in Greenwich, which allowed it to communicate with roadside sensors and city infrastructure.
This gave the vehicle improved situational awareness, said Servcity, because it was informed of hazards outside its line of sight – such as around a corner. This meant the vehicle could pre-emptively manoeuvre around any obstructions.
David Moss, Nissan’s senior vice president for region research and development in Africa, the Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania, said: “Through our Nissan Ambition 2030 long-term vision, we are committed to supporting greater access to safe and exciting mobility.
“Advancing our autonomous drive capability and expertise is critical to this effort and research projects such as Servcity are vital to the evolution of technology.
“Through our world-class R&D base in Cranfield in the UK, Nissan is continuously innovating to bring cutting-edge, purpose-driven technologies that benefit our customers. Servcity’s achievements contribute to our efforts to usher in a future where we hope to see zero fatalities on the road while providing customers with the added comfort and convenience that come from advanced autonomous drive technologies.”
Servcity is funded by Nissan, the UK government, Connected Places Catapult, TRL, Hitachi Europe, the University of Nottingham and SBD Automotive. It was established to develop a guiding autonomous vehicle framework for manufacturers, transport providers and city planners.
Previous Servcity initiatives include a £13.5 million HumanDrive development project over 30 months using an autonomous Nissan Leaf.
A second project, called Grand Drive, explored the suitability of autonomous cars for long-distance travel. On that occasion, the Leaf travelled 230 miles from Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, to its factory in Sunderland. It set the record for the longest single journey achieved by a self-driving car in the UK.