For the past year, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Nissan have been collaborating on the development of autonomous driving technologies that could one day be used in future consumer vehicles, robotic rovers on Mars, and other space exploration missions. The partnership allows researchers to develop and test autonomy algorithms, concepts, and integrated prototypes for a variety of vehicular transport applications.

The group observed testing of Nissan’s all-electric LEAF as it performed safe autonomous drives across the center. The Nissan LEAF vehicle is equipped with cameras, sensors, and cellular data networking, and uses robotics software originally developed for Ames’ K-10 and K-REX planetary rovers to operate autonomously.