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Nissan is a technical lead in an innovative evolvAD project, aiming to boost progress towards autonomous driving.
Bristol Street Motors

Nissan LEAF to Be Tested in evolvAD Driving Research Project

Nissan LEAF to Be Tested in evolvAD Driving Research Project

  • Nissan LEAF to be tested in evolvAD, enhancing autonomous driving mass adoption
  • Nissan aims to create a more inclusive, safer and cleaner world
  • With five industry partners, Nissan tests the LEAF in different environments, including rural roads and urban lanes
  • The testing will likely produce new technologies


The latest UK autonomous driving research, evolvAD, has started. The project is supported by Nissan and funded by the UK government.

EvolvAD aims to improve the UK’s autonomous driving. It will also help improve Nissan’s autonomous driving technology.

Driving research will test the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) in challenging environments. The project also supports Nissan's Ambition 2030 vision, which intends to create a cleaner, more inclusive world.


Nissan evolvAD Project Logo in black


Robert Bateman, evolvAD Project Manager and Manager of Nissan’s Research and Advanced Engineering team, Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), commented:

"In our previous research projects, our AD team and partners have tackled highways and complex city environments. Now we move onto our next challenge – built up residential streets and rural roads."

"To bring autonomous driving to market, we must test and trial the technology on as many different road types as possible and that’s why projects like evolvAD are so important. Ultimately, we want to make driving cleaner, safer and more inclusive for everyone and we look forward to working with our consortium partners to deliver that."


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evolvAD Project

In collaboration with five industry partners, the project is funded by the UK government and consortium partners. Nissan is the technical lead in the research. Other partners include:

  • Connected Places Catapult
  • Humanising Autonomy
  • SBD Automotive
  • Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)


David Moss, Senior Vice President, Region Research & Development for Nissan AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania), also provided a comment:

“We are extremely proud to be a part of the evolvAD project in the UK, working alongside some brilliant partners to test and trial our technology further."

“Through Nissan Ambition 2030 we want to empower mobility for everyone, and autonomous drive technologies are critical to this effort as they offer huge benefits in terms of vehicle safety, environmental impact and accessibility.”

“As we celebrate 35 years of NTCE in the UK, we’re excited to get going with this next project that will help ensure we continue to deliver technology of the future that truly benefits our customers.”


Nissan LEAF evolvAD


Testing 100% Electric Nissan LEAF

The project will use Nissan LEAF models for testing. The vehicles are assessed under simulation as well as in real, private test tracks. In the end, the cars will be driven on live roads.

These Nissan LEAF CAVs will travel in residential urban areas and on rural roads with difficult terrains. In urban areas, roads can be narrower, with often space only for a single car at a time. Meanwhile, rural roads often don’t have road markings to guide the vehicle.

Using infrastructure such as CCTV, the test LEAFs receive information to create a picture of their situation. This creates an idea of how vehicle infrastructure (V2I) technologies can be used to improve CAV’s performance. This will also help develop new technologies.

One of Nissan’s aims is to test how autonomous mobility can help on A roads and smaller roads. These types of roads are often found in rural and intercity areas.


Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, said:

“Self-driving vehicles have the potential to transform how we get around, making journeys safer, cleaner and more accessible while also helping grow the economy by creating highly skilled jobs.

“This research project will help develop this technology and show that the UK is at the cutting edge in developing automated technology that is not only innovative but, crucially, has safety at its heart.”


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