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Nissan testing Leaf with advanced driver assist system

Near-autonomous experimental car licenced for testing on public roads in Japan

Published: September 27, 2013, 6:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:54 PM

Nissan has been awarded the first Japanese licence plate for a car with advanced driver assist systems, clearing the way for a Nissan Leaf, so equipped, to be tested on public roads in that country for the first time.

The near-autonomous system in the Leaf is designed to allow the driver to take over manual control at any time.

Nissan says the research program will accelerate the development of technologies fundamental to Autonomous Drive. Work is also underway to build a dedicated Autonomous Drive proving ground in Nissan's facility in Oppama, Japan.

The license plate includes the number 2020, which reflects the company's stated goal to be ready with multiple, commercially-viable Autonomous Drive vehicles by the year 2020.

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"This is an ordinary licence plate for an extraordinary vehicle," said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "A month ago we revealed to the world our 2020 Autonomous Drive target. Road testing of the underlying technologies is critical to maintaining our leadership position and we are grateful to the Government of Japan for its support."

The Nissan LEAF to be tested is capable of multiple autonomous functions, including:

> Lane keeping

> Automatic Exit

> Automatic lane change

> Automatic overtaking of slower or stopped vehicles

> Automatic deceleration behind congestion on freeways

> Automatic stopping at red lights

Nissan is developing Autonomous Drive with the goal of achieving virtually zero fatalities in collisions involving its vehicles.

Autonomous Drive is an extension of the Nissan Safety Shield, currently available in several of the company's vehicles, which monitors a 360-degree view around the vehicles, gives warnings to the driver, and automatically intervenes if necessary.