The autonomous car industry is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, Nissan has big plans for visitors who will gather in Japan for the Olympic games of 2020. The Nippon company is aiming to flood Tokyo’s streets with self-driving cars and has developed a set of four technology levels that will work towards turning fiction into reality.
In its effort, Nissan will work closely together with a Japanese internet company, DeNA and begin the initial trials in Japan this year. Future autonomous cars will feature a key component that Nissan designed, called “seamless autonomous mobility”. The feature comes into play every time the driverless vehicle encounters an obstacle in their path or comes across something that strays off from their code.
For example, if a human driver encounters an obstacle that blocks one half of the road, the individual will wait until it is safe and engages into an overtake. However, an autonomous vehicle equipped with the seamless autonomous mobility feature will never engage in an overtake, under any circumstances. Basically, the feature prevents the car from crossing the center line. The vehicle will start moving again only after the obstacle has been removed.
The four-level plan that Nissan set into place mostly consists of safety measures. The first level allows vehicles to keep clear of other cars in their lanes, as well as distancing themselves from other vehicles. This has already been achieved with the Nissan Serena minivan. The feature, dubbed ProPilot, will be updated for the Nissan Leaf electric car.
The second stage involved providing the autonomous vehicle with the ability to change lanes. Nissan engineers are already working on this. Next year’s cars are expected to be equipped with this feature.
The third level is what Nissan is actually aiming for and involves fully automatic city driving. The company hopes that by 2020, driverless cars will be able to deliver packages and even transport humans over short distances. Ultimately, the last level refers to fully autonomous vehicles, able to travel anywhere, anytime. Nissan has yet to accomplish this and did not provide a target date for this technology. Nevertheless, the Japanese company is confident that by 2020, Nissan will roll out at least 10 car models with some level of autonomous driving.
Image Source: Pixabay
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