Nissan demonstrates its self-driving vehicle on the streets of Tokyo

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nissan Debuts Self-Driving Vehicle Prototype, Commences On-Road Testing In Japan.

The IDS concept in Tokyo – previewing the next Leaf – looks outstanding as the firm get ready to roll-out other new cars such as the Micra, based on the cracking Sway concept.Nissan is now testing the first of its autonomous vehicle prototypes designed to operate on city roads and highways, the automotive company announced on Thursday. Nissan are already planning to add an even sportier Z model for the Juke – perhaps taking design cues from the Gripz concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. Nissan just debuted the IDS (Intelligent Driving System) Concept ahead of its official launch at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, joining the list of domestic and European brands already exploring self-driving technology.

In doing so, it’s added greater efficiency, sharper styling, more equipment and practicality, and – what’s becoming massively important in this compact crossover class – the possibility for owners to customise the look of their car. For what the company referred to as “Stage One” in a recent press release announcing the commencement of road testing for its self-driving vehicle prototype, it intends to offer what it’s calling “Piloted Drive 1.0” — which entails autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions. The car is purely in a concept stage at the moment which denotes that it may have some drastic changes made to its physical design, engine capacity and electric motor capabilities. In order to improve and develop Nissan Intelligent Driving for the public at large, the company’s new prototype vehicle is being tested in actual traffic conditions. In a press release, Ghosn placed emphasis on the IDS’s potential to provide an enjoyable travel experience–“Nissan Intelligent Driving improves the driver’s ability to see, think and react.

The high-spec laser scanner, which is in its prototype stages, allows the vehicle to determine the distance between it and its surroundings using precision three-dimensional measurements — subsequently offering the self-driving prototype the ability to navigate routes through tight spaces. It’s small and agile enough to whip in and out of traffic around city centres, while it feels planted and assured on country roads and it cruises along using a minimum of fuel on the motorway. We at Nissan are setting clear goals and preparing for the implementation of piloted drive (…) The prototype that we’re introducing here today is proof of how close we are towards the realization of this goal. Piloted Drive, however, tucks away the steering wheel and instrument cluster, rotates the seats inward for a more relaxed, social setting, and uses sensors, cameras, and lasers to guide the vehicle autonomously.

Nissan is not going against those mammoth cars, but is focusing on an affordable vehicle which has the capability to help you move from one location to another, on its own. Manual Drive allows the IDS’s software to “learn” the driver’s acceleration and steering habits, thereby customizing the Piloted Drive experience. In other self-driving car news, California approved Honda’s autonomous cars for road use back in September and earlier this month, Rinspeed unveiled its new drone-equipped self-driving sports car.

IDS technology could first be deployed on the existing Leaf platform, although Nissan hopes to bring the concept’s carbon fiber body and increased-capacity Li-Ion batteries to the market eventually. Nissan confirmed that the autonomous car which is also the next gen variant of the Leaf will be able to drive without any human interference on highways. Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Tesla, and Google are also knee-deep in autonomous car development––USA Today already tested Mercedes-Benz’s F 015 concept in Spring 2015, while Ford is purportedly testing its camera-based autonomous vehicles. On the inside, the Juke gets a much more attractive cabin thanks to a new 5.8in multimedia system that’s linked to Google, while boot space is also improved – up to 345 litres from 251.

Few details have surfaced about Ford’s progress, but CEO Mark Fields is touting a vehicle that’s “accessible to everyone and not just luxury customers, because that’s who we are as a company.” Google has logged over 1 million miles of autonomous vehicle travel through its fleet of modified Lexus RX350s, and the company’s home-grown autonomous coupe drew attention during its launch earlier this year. And there is Nissan’s Safety Shield – comprising a 360-degree around-view monitor, blind spot and lane departure warning, and moving object detection.

And, of course, Tesla’s Elon Musk boldly announced that he expects his company to begin production of self-driving cars “within three years.” Tesla’s AutoPilot feature debuted on the Model S’s most recent software update, and Musk believes that he can crowdsource real-world AutoPilot data to create an intelligent autonomous system. The self-driving car space is crowded, well-funded, and extremely competitive, so there are high expectations for Nissan’s IDS program, especially given its generous timeframe. Targeting the Nissan autonomous vehicle line toward the mass market would minimize competition and maximize the company’s customer base––stay tuned on TFLcar.com for more developments.

In the video below, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated the near-autonomous driving capabilities of this E-Class outfitted with technology that is available today. The ultimate goal is to make the car as affordable as possible and improve the performance of the battery so as to offer great mileage on a single charge.

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