Nissan has been one of the United Kingdom's top car producers for a while. As a response to the British government's supportive regulatory environment for autonomous vehicle testing and development, Nissan will start testing its all-electric, self-piloted Leaf in London, with trials on public roads set to begin in February.
This isn't the first of Nissan's self-driving trials. The company began testing their first vehicle equipped with Piloted Drive capabilities last October. Their hope is to have this technology in their production vehicles and on the road by 2020, a bold goal considering the strict government regulations worldwide.
As of now, Piloted Drive has a single-lane, highway-only mode that will be included on vehicles Nissan will release next year in Europe. Starting in 2018, Nissan plans to introduce a multi-lane highway autonomous mode, and the company is striving for complete autonomy in both city and highway conditions by 2020.
With an estimated 95 percent of traffic accidents caused by human error, self-driving cars could save countless lives. In fact, according to Tesla, the company's fatal autopilot crash in 2016 was "the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where autopilot was activated." Compared to the more than a million traffic casualties each year worldwide, self-driving cars could save millions of lives and prevent countless other injuries.