Nissan and NASA extend autonomous mobility research

Nissan has announced an agreement to collaborate on research and technology development for future autonomous mobility services with NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

The agreement, by Nissan North America, Inc., the US-based subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., updates an existing research collaboration between the two partners.

Using NASA’s work in robotics to accelerate the deployment of autonomous mobility services is a perfect example of how the considerable work required to advance space exploration can also pioneer advances here on Earth.
— Eugene Tu, Center Director, NASA Ames

Researchers from the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley and NASA Ames have been working together to advance autonomous vehicle systems. At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the carmaker introduced Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM), a platform for managing fleets of autonomous vehicles that was developed from NASA technology.



The new phase of the partners’ collaboration will further develop the technology and test the use of SAM for managing autonomous transportation services.

“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.

“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.

“The final stage of our existing research agreement with NASA will bring us closer to that goal and test SAM in a working demonstration on public streets.”

Eugene Tu, Center Director, NASA Ames, said: “Using NASA’s work in robotics to accelerate the deployment of autonomous mobility services is a perfect example of how the considerable work required to advance space exploration can also pioneer advances here on Earth.”