The hits just keep coming out of CES 2018. Today Nissan announced an agreement with NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley to collaborate on autonomous driving technology. The deal is a five-year research and development partnership extending the relationship between the two. Last year at CES, Nissan introduced their Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) platform for managing autonomous fleets which was developed from NASA technology. This new phase of the relationship will build off that early success.
Nissan says the partnership is part of their ongoing effort to advance their Nissan Intelligent Mobility initiative. The initiative consists of three interrelated workstreams including autonomous drive, electrification, and infrastructure technology.
Maarten Sierhuis, Director of the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley, spoke on the subject by claiming, “We built SAM from technology NASA developed for managing interplanetary rovers as they move around unpredictable landscapes. 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."
NASA seems to be enthused by the partnership as well. Eugene Tu, Central Director of NASA’S Ames Facility said, "One of NASA's strategic goals is to transfer the technology developed to advance NASA mission and program objectives to broader commercial and social applications. 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."
They’ve also put together a spiffy video to detail the SAM program and the partnership between Nissan and NASA. The partnership should bring us new breakthroughs to talk about at CES for years to come.