A self-driving car has had its first trials on major London roads, proving the technology works – or it does with an attentive driver behind the wheel to slam on the brakes. Guided by five radars, four lasers and 12 cameras, a converted electric Nissan Leaf has been following a carefully mapped route around Beckton, in east London, driving itself along the A13 dual carriageway, around urban streets and navigating roundabouts – a particular challenge for the Japanese manufacturer. Nissan tested the car on Wednesday with the Guardian in the passenger seat. Britain has established a liberal testing regime for driverless vehicles, in the hope of taking a leading global role in their development, but legislation still demands a qualified driver at the wheel – just in case. That driver was Tetsuya Iijima, Nissan’s global head of autonomous drive development, who wiggled his feet and held his arms aloft as the Leaf proceeded out of the Excel centre car park. Its steering wheel turning unaided, the Leaf accelerated past City airport, and towards its first roundabout. Screens attached to the Leaf dashboard include a virtual map, a camera view, and one pinpointing green cones in our path picked up by… Read full this story
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