HumanDrive, a research consortium led by Nissan, has announced that it has successfully completed a 230-mile self-navigated journey on UK roads. While the achievement was only disclosed by HumanDrive today, it actually completed the ‘Grand Drive’ journey on November 28, 2019. The successful Grand Drive is noteworthy because it represented the longest autonomous journey ever performed in the UK and because the route was quite complex.
To complete the task, HumanDrive equipped a Nissan LEAF with GPS, radar, LIDAR, and cameras. The technology was used to navigate various road systems consisting of complex roundabouts, motorways, junctions, and high-speed country lanes that have no road markings, white lines, or kerbs. The vehicle has also been trained on a test track using machine learning to get the feel for human-like driving in order to enhance the user experience.
Bob Bateman, Project Manager for Nissan Technical Centre, Europe, said:
“The HumanDrive project allowed us to develop an autonomous vehicle that can tackle challenges encountered on UK roads that are unique to this part of the world, such as complex roundabouts and high-speed country lanes with no road markings, white lines or kerbs.”
The funding for this research was delivered by the UK government through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Innovate UK, and nine other consortium partners; in total, the funding package totalled £13.5 million. Nadhim Zahawi MP, a business minister in the UK government said that the achievement will lead to the “rollout of driverless cars on UK streets … while helping to slash carbon emissions.”