Tech from space can help autonomous cars here on earth
Nissan has extended a prior agreement with NASA to collaborate on technology for managing fleets of driverless vehicles, the automaker announced today.
The two companies have been working together under a five-year partnership to advance autonomous vehicle systems. A year ago, Nissan introduced a platform for integrating autonomous vehicles based on technology from NASA. Dubbed “Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility,” or SAM for short, the platform combines artificial intelligence inside the vehicle with remote human support to help driverless cars navigate difficult situations on the road.
“We built SAM from technology NASA developed for managing interplanetary rovers as they move around unpredictable landscapes,” said Maarten Sierhuis, director of the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley, in a statement. “Our goal is to deploy SAM to help third-party organizations safely integrate a fleet of autonomous vehicles in unpredictable urban environments, for example ride-hailing services, public transportation or logistics and delivery services.”
Under the updated agreement, the companies will work together in new ways into 2019. They will continue to test the SAM platform before demonstrating a revised version on public streets. These demonstrations will take place in Silicon Valley.
NASA is also working with Uber on software that can help manage “flying taxi” routes in the future. This partnership makes use of NASA’s extensive driverless air-traffic management systems.