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Promoted: How the Nissan LEAF is driving (itself) into the future

An automonous all-electric LEAF has taken to the streets for testing in east London

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It’s not uncommon to see a Nissan LEAF on the streets of London – it is the world’s best-selling 100% electric car, after all. But if you’ve been to east London recently, you might have spotted a LEAF that was a little bit different.

You’d be hard-pressed to spot what was so special by looking at it: the LEAF in question looked like a standard model, aside from the addition of a number of radar sensors, laser scanners and cameras. Those systems were there for a reason: this LEAF was driving itself.

The tests marked the first time that Nissan has conducted on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe, and were a huge step in the firm’s commitment to a zero-emission, zero-fatality future for mobility.

As well as the sensors, the LEAF was fitted with Nissan’s Human Machine Interface – and a Nissan engineer was in the driver’s seat at all times ready to take control, just in case. The LEAF travelled a pre-set route, covering tight streets and dual carriageways, using Nissan’s ProPILOT autonomous drive technology. The system will be installed on the next generation of LEAF and Qashqai, enabling single-lane autonomous driving on motorways. Nissan aims to enable autonomous driving on urban roads from 2020.

One study shows autonomous vehicles could contribute €17 trillion (Β£14.5 trillion) to the European economy by 2050*, through improving road safety, increasing mobility and allowing multi-tasking while travelling. And one Nissan LEAF prowling east London is playing a key role in that growth.

For the future - and now

The 100% electric Nissan LEAF isn’t just a car for the autonomous driving future: it’s a great choice right now. It’s a refined five-seater that’s packed with technology and kit. It’s practical too: you can travel up to 155 miles** on a single charge of the LEAF’s battery – and it costs just 2p per mile to run.

About True MPG

What Car? is committed to helping drivers understand the real cost of motoring. That’s why it’s developed True MPG, the ultimate guide to how many miles a car really does to the gallon. Of course when it comes to fuel efficiency, the Nissan LEAF is right at the front of the pack: it uses no combustible fuel at all.

For more information on the Nissan LEAF, click here.

For for more information on True MPG, click here.

*November 2016 study by Policy Network.

**2p per mile is based on (i) overnight electricity costs (British Gas Standard Tariff unit rates paying by Direct Debit as at 1st January 2017, assuming seven hours charging at night rate and one hour on day rate), and (ii) a range of up to 155 miles (LEAF 30kWh) per full charge (assuming 95% efficiency) based on European Driving Cycle. Actual consumption and range may vary due to driving style, road condition, air conditioning use and other factors outside our control.