Page 2: NASA partners with Nissan on self-driving cars

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Pictured: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks with NASA’s Ames Research Center director S. Pete Worden at the automaker’s Silicon Valley research center.

A number of different companies across various industries are expected to contribute to the development of self-driving cars, according to Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report titled, "Set Autopilot for Profits: Capitalizing on the $87 Billion Self-driving Car Opportunity."

"Today the autonomous vehicle value chain is already starting to take root, and it involves many players new to the industry," he said in the press release. "Sensor hardware specialists like Velodyne Lidar* are developing products with unprecedented resolution, software and big-data powerhouses like IBM and Google are striking up partnerships, and even mapping and connectivity experts like Nokia and Cisco are throwing their hats into the ring."

Nissan has set the year 2020 as the timeframe for the introduction of self-driving cars that can navigate in nearly all situations, including the hardest, which is city driving. According to the terms of the partnership, NASA will benefit from Nissan's shared expertise in innovative component technologies for autonomous vehicles, shared research to inform development of vehicular transport applications, and access to appropriate prototype systems and provision of test beds for robotic software.

"All of our potential topics of research collaboration with Nissan are areas in which Ames has strongly contributed to major NASA programs," said director of Ames Research Center, S. Pete Worden. "Ames developed Mars rover planning software, robots onboard the International Space Station and Next Generation air traffic management systems to name a few. We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors."

"This partnership brings together the best and brightest of NASA and Nissan and validates our investments in Silicon Valley," said Ghosn.

*Google’s new autonomous vehicle utilizes a Velodyne LIDAR system, which sits on the top of the car’s roof and provides remote sensing measurements for autonomous navigation.

View the press release.

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