Photo courtesy of Nissan.

Photo courtesy of Nissan.

Nissan and NASA have entered a five-year partnership to research and develop autonomous driving technology.

The first vehicles to use the new systems will be zero emissions vehicles and tested at NASA’s Ames Research Center. More specifically the R&D program will focus on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification.

NASA will use its data from its planetary rovers to develop various tests for the autonomous systems.

Nissan plans to introduce an autonomous driving vehicle by 2020, according to a press release from the car manufacturer.

"All of our potential topics of research collaboration with Nissan are areas in which Ames has strongly contributed to major NASA programs," said S. Pete Worden, Ames director. "Ames developed Mars rover planning software, robots onboard the International Space Station and Next Generation air traffic management systems to name a few. We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors."