Driver­less cars scoot around Nis­san plant, tow­ing ve­hi­cles

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Nis­san Mo­tor Co is test­ing self-driv­ing cars at one of its plants in Ja­pan that can tow ve­hi­cles on a trailer to the wharf for load­ing on trans­port ships. The Ja­panese au­tomaker thinks the tech­nol­ogy will, in the long run, save costs and boost ef­fi­ciency. The tests also can add to knowl­edge needed to take such au­ton­o­mous driv­ing onto pub­lic roads. Nis­san ex­ec­u­tive Haruhiko Yoshimura said the au­tomaker hoped to use the tech­nol­ogy through­out the Op­pama plant by 2019, and in over­seas plants in the fu­ture.

Dur­ing a demon­stra­tion yes­ter­day, a Leaf car with no one in­side scooted along the road, pulling a trailer with three other Leafs on it, stopped prop­erly for other ve­hi­cles, and then veered into a park­ing lot. But one ve­hi­cle ran into trou­ble, re­fused to move and was not able to take part in the demon­stra­tion. Kazuhiro Doi, a Nis­san vice pres­i­dent, ac­knowl­edged such glitches showed a chal­lenge unique to the tech­nol­ogy. “If there are driv­ers, they can take ac­tion,” he said. “Me­chan­i­cal op­er­a­tions are all there is in a driver­less car.”

Nis­san, which makes the March sub­com­pact, In­finiti lux­ury mod­els and the Leaf elec­tric car, now has just two of the self-driv­ing Leaf cars. For all the ve­hi­cles pro­duced at the Op­pama plant to be towed in a driver­less way, five more such ve­hi­cles are needed, ac­cord­ing to Nis­san. Peo­ple still had to get in­side each of the towed ve­hi­cles to drive them to the proper wharf, but Nis­san hopes that as self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy ad­vances cars will drive them­selves into the ships, up the plank on their own. — AP

YOKO­HAMA: Nis­san Mo­tor Co ‘S “Leaf”, with no one in­side, pulls a trailer with three other Leafs on it, dur­ing a demon­stra­tion of the au­tomaker’s In­tel­li­gent Ve­hi­cle Tow­ing sys­tem at Nis­san Op­pama plant. — AP

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