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Nissan's autonomous Leaf hits the road in London

This marks the first time the automaker has tested its autonomous capabilities in Europe.

After testing the waters in Japan and the United States, Nissan has taken its self-driving Leaf across the pond to London.

Nissan started testing its autonomous Leaf in the UK, offering demonstrations in London. Participants (with a qualified person behind the wheel, of course) were able to experience the self-driving tech, which includes laser scanners, radar, cameras and a unique interface.

It'll be pretty hard to miss this thing rolling down the street.


Don't expect the current Leaf to sprout self-driving capabilities, though. Nissan has plans for all that. First, it will debut a new Leaf -- in the "near future," it says -- with ProPilot. This is Nissan's light autonomous system that will hold the vehicle at a certain speed and keep it between the lines in a single lane on the highway.

This system debuted in 2016 in the Japanese-market Serena. It will also make its way to an updated version of the Qashqai, which will enter the US market this year as the Rogue Sport.

And that's just the beginning, as noted in Nissan's CES 2017 keynote speech. Later on, Nissan plans to introduce a beefier semiautonomous system, which will include automatic lane changes on highways. That one is slated for a 2018 arrival.

More involved autonomy won't arrive until 2020, and when it does, it will enable self-driving on urban roads and through intersections.