Nissan tests a robotic variant of its electric car featuring piloted drive

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nissan Begins Road-Testing “Piloted Drive” Software.

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.Almost all major auto manufacturers are researching self-driving cars in their own way and Nissan is no different as it continues to move forward with its “Zero Emission” and “Zero Fatality” corporate visions.

The company is dipping its toe in the red-hot market, and has begun testing an autonomous car prototype similar to the Leaf on the roads and highways of Japan, according to an Engadget report. 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. To this end, Nissan has revealed that its teams are testing out a prototype electric car featuring piloted drive on-road on both highway and city/urban roads.

According to Nissan’s president and CEO, Carlos Ghosn the idea behind this concept was to have a future of a future of zero emissions and zero fatalities motoring. The new car will feature the automaker’s Intelligent Driving System, including a Piloted Drive mode that will allow the car to essentially be a robot on wheels in the right conditions. 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.

The main strategy that Nissan promised to achieve this is using “Nissan Intelligent Driving”—a collection of autonomous driving technology to increase the safety and reliability of vehicles. To achieve that, Nissan is developing an advanced form of vehicle intelligence called “Nissan Intelligent Driving,” which is comprised of various innovative features that will be introduced in stages. As an extension between what is conceivable in autonomous driving and totally autonomous future, the IDS can likewise be used as a part of a customary mode where the driver holds full control, however where the full suite of driver help and crash evasion technologies are enabled. By 2018, Nissan hopes to add a changing lanes feature, and by 2020 it should be able to navigate city streets on its own without any input from the driver at all. Hopefully, this will go well and culminate at the end of 2016, when Nissan plans to offer “Piloted Drive 1.0” in Japan, which will allow completely autonomous driving under heavy traffic conditions.

This all depends on the announcement that the 2016 model-year Leaf would include a 280km potential range, proposing that Nissan was focused on the Leaf franchise. 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.

By end of 2020, it is looking to introduce a new technology that allows vehicles to successfully manage city/urban roads – including intersections – autonomously. If this prototype goes well, it could potentially achieve both Zero goals in one swoop (especially since we already have video evidence from a different autonomous driving software that prevented a wreck).

It’s an interesting new offering that attempts to take a stab at two extremely hot markets: the nascent autonomous vehicle market, and the growing electric car market. 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. And there is Nissan’s Safety Shield – comprising a 360-degree around-view monitor, blind spot and lane departure warning, and moving object detection. 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.

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. “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 realization of this goal.

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