Nissan and NASA have inked a new partnership to further research autonomous vehicles that could be used not only here on Earth, but also in space. The five-year research and development partnership between the two companies will see researchers from both testing a fleet of zero-emission autonomous vehicles, most likely modeled on the Nissan Leaf, at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

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Nissan has been working on self-driving vehicles for nearly two years, but Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn believes that this new agreement with NASA will accelerate Nissan’s development of safe, secure and reliable autonomous drive technology. “The work of NASA and Nissan–with one directed to space and the other directed to earth–is connected by similar challenges,” Ghosn stated. Nissan has set 2020 as the introduction date for its autonomous vehicles, which will have the ability to navigate in nearly all situations, including the most complex situation, city driving.

Related: Nissan Announces Plans for Fully Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

According to the partnership, NASA will benefit from Nissan’s expertise in innovative component technologies for autonomous vehicles, further research in vehicular transport applications and access to appropriate prototype systems for robotic software.

+ Nissan

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