Next step for autonomous vehicles
Car makers are all chasing the dream of the fully self-driving vehicle. Currently there are a few legislation issues in the way as well as more than one question when it comes to ethical matters but the car companies are determined to be ready when the green light is given for a proper autonomous future.
The latest company to showcase its autonomous technology is Nissan, which recently trialled an autonomous prototype in London.
It is the first time that Nissan has demonstrated its latest autonomous drive technology on public roads in Europe. The company has already conducted public-road testing in Japan and the US to pursue easy-to-use autonomous drive technology in real life situations.
The technology consists of millimetre wave radar, laser scanners, cameras, high-speed computer chips and a specialised Human Machine Interface, just to name a few. All of this helps allow the vehicle, in this case a Nissan Leaf EV, to operate in an autonomous manner on both highway and cityurban roads once the destination points are entered into the navigation system.
“Innovation and ingenuity is at the heart of the Nissan brand and its people,” says Takao Asami, senior vice-president, research and advanced engineering at Nissan.
“This test of Nissan’s forthcoming autonomous drive tech- nology in the demanding conditions of London streets underlines our commitment to delivering Nissan Intelligent Mobility to our customers.”
The test follows recent announcements that both the upcoming facelifted Nissan Qashqai and the new Leaf will be equipped with ProPilot autonomous drive technology to enable single lane autonomous driving on highways. A multilane autonomous driving technology will enable automatic lane changes on highways and is planned for introduction in 2018 while autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections is planned for launch in 2020.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility represents three core areas that the company says it is looking at. The first is Intelligent Driving, which helps to give customers more confidence through enhanced safety, control and comfort. The building blocks for autonomous driving are already built into many cars with advanced safety features including surround monitoring and lane-keeping assistance.
The company’s Intelligent Power aims to make driving more exciting by continuing to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy. Nissan says it is committed to a holistic approach to achieving zeroemission mobility by making internal combustion engines more efficient and putting more advanced technologies into its EVs. In addition to its EVs, these technologies include e-Power (series-hybrid) and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Nissan says its Intelligent Integration strategy keeps customers more connected by linking its cars to the wider society, helping to shape a sustainable ecosystem enabling cars to interact with people, other cars and road infrastructure. This will lead to remote vehicle operation, reduced traffic jams, more efficient car-sharing and improved energy management.
THE COMPANY’S INTELLIGENT POWER AIMS TO MAKE DRIVING MORE EXCITING BY CONTINUING TO REDUCE EMISSIONS
Takao Asami, senior vicepresident research and advanced engineering at Nissan, lets the car do the driving in London.