UK’s first autonomous road trip: Nissan LEAF drives itself from Bedfordshire to Sunderland.

The all-electric car drove itself 230 miles in a record journey for an autonomous car in the UK following years of development.

The Nissan LEAF is the first all-electric car built in the UK, and set an autonomous driving record too

A modified version of the Nissan LEAF has completed the UK’s longest autonomous car journey by driving itself the 230 miles from Cranfield in Bedfordshire to Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland.

According to Nissan, the only times a human driver had to take over during the course of the journey was when the car had to drive into motorway services to be charged.

The official mileage for a Nissan LEAF with a 30 kWh battery is 130 miles on a full charge, although it isn’t clear how much additional battery running the autonomous computer system required.

According to an image showing the route for the car and the services it had stopped at, the LEAF stopped for four charges during the 230-mile journey.

Without human intervention the autonomous car handled country lanes with “no or minimal road markings” over the course of the journey, as well as junctions, roundabouts and motorways, according to Nissan.

The technology itself handled changing lanes, merging, stopping and starting when necessary.

Even without clear traffic markings, the technology the LEAF is based on is marketed as able to handle “narrow winding roads, carriageways with no lane division markings and poorly-marked roundabouts” all on its own.