Nissan Joins Project for Urban AV Advancement

Nissan has joined a private-public funded UK pilot to explore autonomous vehicle mobility in city environments.

The latest AV research project launched this month is dubbed ServCity and hopes to help cities solve how they can harness the latest automated technologies and incorporate them into a complex urban environment. Over 30 months, five partners, including Nissan, the Connected Places Catapult, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Hitachi and the University of Nottingham, will work together to develop a blueprint hoping to tackle the barriers to deploying AVs in cities.

The pilot hopes to draw on the data gathered from the HumanDrive project completed in February. That project tackled autonomous driving on country-side and motorway lanes, overcoming challenges such as roundabout and high speed country lanes with no markings, white lines, or curbsides. It featured Nissan a Leaf as a test mule and culminated in the ‘Grand Drive’, the UK longest and most complex autonomous drive from Cranfield to Sunderland.

Now, through a combination of test simulation, end-user experience research and real-world trials, ServCity hopes to inform how cities can exploit the potential of future mobility solutions and accelerate their deployment. Concentrating on the three key areas of technology, people and scalability,it aims to ensure the user experience is as intuitive, inclusive and “engaging” as possible.

Bob Bateman, project manager, from Nissan explained: “Our Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy strives to achieve a mobility future that is more electric, more autonomous and more connected and we look forward to working in collaboration with ServCity’s other partners to achieve this.”

Andrew Hart, director at SBD Automotive added: “Robo-taxis have the potential to fundamentally transform mobility for both consumers and the cities they operate in. The user experience lies at the heart of that transformation, as operators will need to carefully balance customer expectations with real-world technological constraints.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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