One small step for mankind has turned into one giant leap for automotive technology. The leap is only broadened by the announcement of a Nissan-NASA partnership. Nissan and NASA share similar interests.
NASA wants an autonomous vehicle to roam across other planets without getting stuck or requiring human assistance. Nissan wants its first autonomous vehicles on the market by 2020. The five year research and development partnership will focus on developing self-driving technology both on Earth and other planets.
“We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors,” Dr. Simon Worden, director of Ames Research Center, said. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the two organizations are “connected by similar challenges.”
This is not the first partnership between NASA and Nissan. In 2005 the two partnered up to develop comfortable and safe car seats. Like Nissan, NASA hopes to send its next rover to Mars in 2020. By the end of 2015, the first zero-emission autonomous vehicle should be available for testing.