Nissan is to start testing self-driving cars by next month in London. This will be the first time the car maker will be testing their self-driving cars in the United Kingdom. They will be using modified versions of their LEAF electric car to do the testing.
Because of how difficult it is to drive in London if you are not used to it, the city is establishing itself as the best place to do the first testing of these autonomous cars. It is also establishing itself as the best place for Nissan to start their testing of the driverless cars because of the data that Nissan can gather from it.
London is rapidly becoming the hub for the self-driving car tests. This is not the only testing that will be going on. The following tests will also begin or will be announced to start soon as well.
- Back in 2015, certain cities on the outside of London and around England had moved to allow self-driving car testing. Although the testing was to last between 18 and 36 months, none of them were done on public roads.
- Since most of the self-driving cars have a type of marking on them to make other drivers aware of them being on the road, Volvo will start testing unmarked cars in 2018.
- In 2016, self-driving shuttles were started as a part of Greenwich’s Gateway Program. There is a larger project with the shuttles that are both public and private in the Greenwich area.
These different tests that have been started, or are about to start this year or next are most likely because of how the roads in England are hard to drive on if you are not used to them. Their roads are not only windy and with wide main streets but they are centuries old. Not only this, but the artificial intelligence that will be driving the car will need to get used to driving on the left side of the road, unlike in the United States where people drive on the right side of the road. They want the self-driving cars to get used to as many ways to drive as possible.
Although London is starting these self-driving tests soon, it isn’t all the way clear yet whether or not they will be the leader in self-driving tests since the United States might get started on it soon too. The state that wants to get started is California but they require someone to be behind the wheel while it is driving itself. Because of this, this discourages Google and Uber’s idea of a self-driving taxi service.