Nissan Opened Silicon Valley Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research image

Nissan recently opened a research center in Silicon Valley, California, which will be used for research on autonomous vehicles and Internet-connected auto technology.

The automaker will add 60 technicians and engineers at the research center in the following three years, who will work to develop autonomous vehicle systems, according to Carla Bailo, Nissan’s senior vice president for North American research and development.

“We’re going to focus on this technology really in the heart of where it lies today,” Bailo said. “We are going to be shifting work that’s being done in our Nissan Advanced Technical Center in Atsugi, and moving that work over to the heart of the industry.”

Car makers and companies, such as Google, are working on developing new programming and electronics for vehicles, aimed at reducing collisions and fuel use, and improving traffic flow. Carlos Ghosn said last month that the technological and legal hurdles will keep autonomous vehicles off the roads until about 2020.

Nissan’s Sunnyvale center will joins forces with laboratories at the University of California’s Berkeley, Stanford University and Davis campuses, as well as Silicon Valley companies. The Sunnyvale facility will be lead by Maarten Sierhuis, a former NASA scientist and specialist in artificial intelligence research.