Nissan-NASA is building a robot car which has its own mind. it is tested in the Nissan’s research area in silicon valley. Dr Liam Pedersen presents his futuristic machine to ogle-eyed media. “This Leaf may look like a car, but it’s actually a robot,” he says. The former NASA robotics researcher who was instrumental in creating the Mars rover as part of his work on future planetary exploration is now Nissan’s principal researcher for autonomous vehicle department

He explains his mission by cleverly comparing Mars to Earth. “What do our Nissan Leaf autonomous drive prototype and a Mars rover have in common? They both use similar autonomous systems to navigate their respective environments. Robots on Mars, like the 4WD rover, need to sense their surroundings. They need to make their own decisions about what to do. And that is what a robot car also needs to do on Earth.”

Robot cars have intricate cameras, sensors and software and it is Dr Pedersen’s team’s responsibility to create the A.I. software that goes into making the safe driverless cars of the future.