Nissan, NASA and Mars
The NASA Mars Rover Opportunity landed on Mars January 25, 2004. It was expected to have a three-month mission, rolling around on the Red Planet.
And it is still going.
Its twin, the Spirit, landed on Mars on January 3, 2004. Its last communication with Earth was on March 22, 2010.
Again, somewhat greater longevity than three months.
Clearly, NASA knows more than a little something about autonomous vehicles.
So it isn’t entirely surprising that Nissan North America and NASA are undertaking a five-year R&D partnership focused on autonomous vehicles.
Nissan researchers from its Silicon Valley Research Center will work with those at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA (which is essentially in Silicon Valley).
Among the areas of focus are autonomous drive systems, human-machine interfaces, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification.
They’re also looking at remote operation of autonomous vehicles, and expect to have the first vehicle ready for testing by the end of 2015.
Given that the distance between Earth and Mars is 186.8-million miles, chances are good they’re going to have this terrestrial project nailed.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
The Kia Stinger was a finalist for the 2018 North American International Car of the Year Awards.
The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.