Nissan's Self-Driving Car


Roads? Where we’re going, we’re going to need roads.

For decades, the “flying car” has been the dream car of the future. But let's be realistic here: we can’t trust people to actually fly around in their car. I mean come on. That’s dangerous.

What we can expect—and what we are getting closer to every day here at Nissan—is the autonomous car. A car that one day will be capable of driving, parking, and even refueling itself.

Working alongside researchers from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, and the University of Tokyo, we’ve put more than 80 combined years of research into the development of autonomous drive technology.


Nissan's self driving car

Nissan conducts on-road autonomous vehicle testing

Every day, we get closer to meeting our goal of a zero-emission, zero-fatality mobility. Earlier this year in London, we showed the world what our next-gen autonomous-drive prototype vehicle can do.



The building blocks of autonomous driving technology have existed in Nissan vehicles for years, in the form of Nissan Safety Shield technologies.

Today, the Nissan Safety Shield technologies can “see” 360° around your vehicle and alert you to risks detected from all sides. It can apply the brakes if necessary, warn you if someone is in your blind spot, let you know if you need air in your tires, and even tell you if it senses it’s time to get some rest.

The technologies we are currently developing will take the Nissan Safety Shield to the next level. We are now testing a prototype vehicle that may merge, pass, perform all typical driving maneuvers, and may contribute significantly to reducing accidents caused by human error and inattention.

Nissan's self driving car


Nissan Intelligent Mobility is not about removing humans from the driving experience. Instead, it’s about building a better future for Nissan customers where cars are their partners, and where drivers are more confident and more connected.


Driving in a car that will be driving you

As part of our commitment to creating a mobile future of reduced emissions, reduced accidents, and reduced injuries and fatalities, Nissan is conducting extensive real world testing of next-gen autonomous vehicle prototypes on public roads in America, Europe, and Japan.

Passengers are experiencing what it’s like to travel in a vehicle controlled not only by a human driver, but by technologies like millimeter wave radar, laser scanners, high-speed computers, a specialized HMI or “Human Machine Interface”, and many more advanced innovations.

These vehicles are consistently and successfully navigating not just short trips on local roads, but long distance trips on highways. Participants will simply enter a destination point into the navigation system, and the vehicle literally does all the work. 


Every day, this technology is being tweaked and perfected to handle extreme conditions and unexpected developments that we sometimes find ourselves in. Regulators and lawmakers in many jurisdictions are putting in place the new laws and regulations necessary to permit and manage the widespread use of driverless cars.

Of course, some people will always want to take the wheel, and at Nissan, we’ll always build cars and trucks for people who love to drive. Our pursuit of this new technology isn't about giving up driving. It’s about giving consumers the choice to decide when, where, and for how long they want to drive.

4 Stages of Autonomous Drive

Four stages of autonomous drive

At Nissan, advances in AI are making our vehicles smarter, more responsive, and better at making their own decisions. We are developing a vehicle that will be capable of autonomous driving on a single lane highway in the near future. The next step will be multi-lane highway, then city driving, and ultimately fully autonomous driving in all situations.

Men working on Autonomous System
Scientist looking at computer screen

Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility-Sam

Advances in artificial intelligence are making autonomous vehicles smarter, more responsive, and better at making decisions in a variety of driving environments.



Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM)

During his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nissan mapped out the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

Some Highlights:

  • Utilizing technology originally developed by NASA, Nissan is working on a Seamless Autonomous Mobility system (SAM). It combines a vehicle’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) with human support to help an autonomous vehicle make decisions in unpredictable situations. Those decisions further expand the vehicle’s AI capabilities as it “learns” from every decision it has made. This technology will help millions of autonomous vehicles connect with each other, and co-exist with human drivers.

  • We’ve partnered with the Department of Defense on grid-based EV projects at military bases across the country, supplying more than two-dozen LEAFs to demonstrate the viability of EV participation on a local power grid. Similar programs are underway with universities and utility providers around the United States.

  • In partnership with Microsoft, Nissan is developing advanced connected technologies like Microsoft Cortana, an in-vehicle virtual personal assistant. With Cortana’s speech analytics capabilities, drivers can benefit from advanced in-vehicle voice recognition and intuitive Human Machine Interface (HMI). Cortana enables a vehicle to adapt to personalized driver settings and recognizes different driver preferences even in a shared vehicle, making it feel like your own.


  • Nissan is collaborating with Bose to develop technology that increases situational awareness for drivers and enhances overall safety on the road. Bose’s ‘Aware’ technology helps drivers process and react to the sounds—safety prompts, navigation signals, system alerts, texts, and phone calls—that are ubiquitous in today’s vehicles. Bose’s UltraNearField speakers are integrated into the headrest, and deliver relevant sounds to the relevant ear. If, for example, you are turning left, the turn signal sound will be heard in your left ear. If you are turning right… well, you get the idea. The system can even direct the audio of Bluetooth calls directly to the passenger who is receiving the call, wherever they are sitting in the vehicle.


New Nissan LEAF with autonomous drive functionality

Want to experience Nissan's autonomous drive technologies for yourself? The 2023 Nissan LEAF will feature autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving. In 2010, Nissan was the first carmaker in the world to introduce an all-electric vehicle to the mass market. Today, LEAF is the world's best-selling EV. More than 250,000 are on the road and collectively they've travelled nearly two billion miles without using a single drop of gas.

Explore the 2023 Nissan LEAF