Nissan is decking out a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle with a bunch of autonomous-drive sensors. The Japanese automaker has dubbed the tech Piloted Drive 1.0 and recently showed it off on test vehicles at Nissan's Advanced Technology Center near Tokyo, Automotive News says. The vehicle will feature almost 400 sensors that offer 360-degree measurement data between the driver's car and others. A version of it will be available in Japan by the end of next year.

Next year will bring fresh capabilities to the EV that Nissan has been using to test self-driving technology, including the abilities for the car to pass other vehicles, change lanes, and merge onto and off of highways. The program is called Nissan Intelligent Driving and it is currently in use in three Nissan Leafs.

Nissan has long proclaimed that it would have a self-driving vehicle on the road by 2020. More recently, though, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said Nissan's efforts to meet the 2020 deadline may be hamstrung by government regulations. Nissan has worked with institutions such as MIT, Stanford, Oxford and others to test self-driving capabilities.

Still, the subject of tech advancing faster than regulations has gained relevance as automakers like Tesla Motors have upped their cars' self-driving abilities. Released earlier this month under Tesla's software 7.0 suite, Tesla has added self-driving capabilities related to parking, side-collision warning, lane-changing and automatic emergency steering. Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk has said a fully-autonomous vehicle may be on the road by 2018, beating Ghosn's goal by a couple of years.

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