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NASA and Nissan team up to on self-driving cars and space rovers

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NASA and Nissan believe they've got a lot to learn from each other when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. So, the two have decided to team up for the next five years and develop a self-driving system that they can use not just on Earth, but also in space. A team of scientists from both organizations will design an autonomous vehicle technology at the NASA Ames Research Center, home to Moffett Field, where Google is also testing its self-driving auto prototypes. The duo will start by conjuring up a fleet of zero-emission robotic cars, presumably modified Nissan Leafs, as that's exactly what's pictured above. They expect to start test driving the first one by the end of 2015.

Nissan has long been working on self-driving cars, even testing an autonomous Leaf on Japanese roads in 2013. But company CEO Carlos Ghosn thinks NASA, which has a great track record building durable space rovers controlled from Earth, can teach the automaker how to create a more reliable human-machine interface. NASA, on the other hand, aims to pick up pointers on how to properly incorporate self-driving technology into vehicles. The agency plans to build autonomous rovers for use in locations farther or more dangerous than Mars.

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