Nissan Leaf Breaks UK Record For Longest Self-Driving Car Trip

Nissan Leaf Breaks UK Record For Longest Self-Driving Car Trip
Autonomous Vehicle, Nissan, Self-Driving Car

A self-driving Nissan Leaf has completed the longest and most complicated journey on UK roads by an autonomous vehicle, which included country roads, traffic and even a jaunt along the M1 motorway.


Image credit: Nissan

The Nissan Leaf, equipped with sat-nav, radar, Lidar laser measurement technology and cameras, completed a 230-mile trip that began at Nissan’s Cranfield, Bedfordshire technical centre and ended at the Japanese carmaker’s UK production HQ in Sunderland. This plant is where the Leaf is assembled.

This record-breaking trip dubbed the ‘GrandDrive’ relied on advanced positioning technology and autonomous technology to stop or start the vehicle and change lanes.

The journey was part of the £13.5m HumanDrive joint project funded by the government and nine industry consortium partners including Nissan (of course) and Hitachi. The project manager for Nissan’s Europe technical centre Bob Bateman 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.”


Image credit: Nick Dimbleby

Self-driving cars haven’t been without their critics and controversy, and with safety in mind two engineers remained in the car throughout the journey. The target of 99% automation was reached with the human drivers taking over to check and charge the Leaf at four service stations along the route.

The project’s goal is to develop an autonomous vehicle control system that closely resembles a natural, human driving style. This test is seen as the next step in making inroads to generate an estimated £62bn boost to the UK economy by 2030, as reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

With recent news that the UK government plans to bring forward banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 and ever-growing investment in autonomous vehicles, we could be looking at a very different landscape on UK roads within the next decade. Are you excited for the future of motoring, or have you got your concerns? Let us know on our Facebook page.


A Bit About Us

We are one of the UK’s premier suppliers of high-quality low-cost car parts for almost any vehicle make or model. Visit our online parts store and find the part you need for less. Every part sold comes with fast worldwide delivery and a peace of mind warranty.

popular blog post

Nearside vs Offside – How to Tell the Difference

Car Door Mirror, Car Parts, Car Parts Online, Nearside, OEM Parts, Offside, Spare Parts, Used Car Parts, Wing Mirror
We've put together this simple guide to ensure you’ll always remember which way round nearside and offside are. Trust us, this will help massively next time you need to replace a light, mirror or any other part which is located on both sides of your car.

Salvage vehicle categories | A to X – All you need to know

Motor Salvage, Salvage Vehicle Categories, Vehicle Auction, Vehicle Repair
Check out our handy guide and get clued up on the salvage vehicle categories from A to X.

latest blog post