Nissan takes itself for a test drive

Nissan takes itself for a test drive

Nissan intends to release a car that will drive itself in heavy highway traffic conditions by the end of next year.

Intelligent vehicles will be able to recognise other cars, pedestrian and even the stupidity of other drivers. Nissan’s is pitching ‘Zero Fatality’ to sell the system – much like its ‘Zero Emission’ pitch for its electric cars.

Stage one of the system ‘Piloted Drive 1.0’ allows for autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions. By 2018 it says the car will be capable of a multiple lane piloted drive that can conduct lane changes on highways.

And by 2020, a new technology will be introduced that allows vehicles to successfully manage city/urban roads- including intersections – autonomously.

The new prototype vehicle possesses both of these innovative features, facilitating smooth transportation through complex traffic environments, helping the occupants feel as though they are in the hands of a skilled driver.

The prototype vehicle is tested in actual traffic conditions on both the highway and city/urban roads to develop and further enhance Nissan Intelligent Driving for public use. The vehicle is based on the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle and it is equipped with features such as a millimeter wave radar, laser scanners, cameras, high-speed computer chips, and a specialized HMI (Human Machine Interface), just to name a few.

All of this helps allow the vehicle to operate in an autonomous manner on both highway and city/urban roads except for setting destination points into the navigation system. These tests are planned for Japan as well as overseas in the near future.

Nissan has developed two innovative technologies that can make piloted drive possible on city/urban roads. The first is the miniature, high-spec laser scanner. Currently in its prototype stages, the laser scanner determines the distance between the vehicle and its surroundings through the use of precise three-dimensional measurement that enables the vehicle to navigate routes in tight spaces.

The other new technology is an 8-way, 360-degree view camera system that allows for accurate routing decisions when driving through intersections and sharp curving roads.

“We at Nissan are setting clear goals and preparing for the implementation of piloted drive,” said senior vice president of Nissan, Takao Asami.

“The prototype that we’re introducing here today is proof of how close we are towards the realisation of this goal. Nissan aspires for a safe and trouble-free motoring future, and we plan on leading the industry in the implementation of piloted drive.”

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