Nissan execs have revealed that the company will begin testing its self-driving Leaf prototypes in London this month, with the UK intended to serve as a real-world testbed for the company’s autonomous technology development.
So, presumably, we should start seeing self-driving Nissan Leafs on London’s roads any day now. …
This news follows earlier announcements from Nissan execs that, regardless of Brexit, Nissan would still be expanding its manufacturing presence in the UK — with current plans calling for the company to begin manufacturing two new models in the country in the near future.
These two announcements are both no doubt related to the strong push that the UK government is making to remake the region as a self-driving and electric vehicle tech development hub. Considering that the UK government predicts that the self-driving tech industry could be worth as much as £900 billion (~$1.1 trillion) by 2025, it’s easy to guess why it’s making the push.
“With future models secured and cutting-edge innovation being developed right here in the UK, we’re looking forward to a strong future of designing, engineering, and manufacturing in the country for customers right across the world,” commented Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox.
In related news, as we previously reported, Nissan will begin rolling out its new ProPilot semi-autonomous driving convenience feature (single-lane highway travel) with the next iteration of the Nissan Leaf. While the Pro Pilot system is obviously less extensive in what it’s capable of as compared to the tech to be tested in London, the two are certainly related. It’ll be interesting to hear how the Leafs in London fare.