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Nissan’s Innovation Takes Shape in Silicon Valley

Feb.18 – Sunnyvale, Calif. – Nissan now has a new research center in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Company leaders plan to partner with other companies and research institutions to develop the best and most advanced technology possible.

Nissan opens new research center in Silicon Valley

“This is where everything is happening. This is where all the intelligence lies, so this is where Nissan needs to be,” said Nissan Americas Senior Vice President of Research and Development Carla Bailo.

The new facility is part of Nissan’s global plan to expand research and development outside of Japan into key local markets. The team will work with the Nissan Research Center team in Japan to develop autonomous driving vehicles – in other words, cars that can safely drive themselves.

“Nissan wants to create the future for mobility in autonomous driving,” said Nissan Corporate Vice President Takao Asami.

Nissan's Advanced Robotic Concept, the Nissan EPORO Robot Car

Researchers will also look for ways to connect the car with the Internet, existing infrastructure, and other self-driving cars.

They will additionally research what’s called the “Human Machine Interface”, so autonomous and connected cars can interact better with people.

“This lab is focused in reaching out beyond the cars to things that are beyond the automobile. It is really trying to think about the car in society and not just the car and the interior of it and I think that’s the future,” said MIT Media Lab Professor Alex Pentland.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has been present in Silicon Valley since 2011, with an office in Mountain View, Calif.  Now the Alliance will continue their work in the larger lab in Sunnyvale.

Guests at the opening of the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley

“We hope to be an open center and have collaborations with the Silicon Valley attitude and the Silicon Valley spirit.  Nissan is well positioned, I think, to take the next step and be a leader in autonomous driving and connected vehicles, and that is very exciting,” said Research Director for Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley Dr. Maarten Sierhuis.

Some of the smartest and most innovative minds in the area will come together here to move the car industry, and Nissan Motor Company, into a new, more advanced, even Jetsons-like era.

“Maybe we will have a Jetsons’ era.  We will see,” said Bailo.

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