Self-driving cars are on a slow and steady journey to UK roads and it’s only a matter of time before you see one out in the wild.
Nissan – one of the main players in the autonomous car game, along with Tesla, Volvo and Google – has just given a live demonstration of its most advanced self-driving technology, planned for real-world use from 2020.
A modified Infiniti Q50 sports saloon fitted with the Nissan Motor Corporation’s next-generation ProPILOT technology operated autonomously on urban roads and freeways on public roads in Tokyo.
In a test video publicising the tech, the ‘driver’ does nothing more than select a destination using the navigation system, then simply enjoys the ride.
It sounds like the stuff of dreams for mile-munching company car drivers and the technology involved seems deceptively straightforward.
The prototype’s artificial intelligence uses input from 12 sonars, 12 cameras, nine millimetre-wave radars, six laser scanners and a high-definition map to analyse complex scenarios in real time and navigate smoothly through challenging city conditions, such as crossing busy intersections.
All this results in a human-like driving feel intended to give passengers peace of mind.
Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior vice president in charge of research and advanced engineering, said: “Our next-generation ProPILOT prototype showcases technology that will be available for real-world use from 2020.
“Today’s demonstration is another example of our successful work toward creating an autonomous driving future for all.”
Semi self-driving features are constantly becoming more widespread on new production cars. For example, Nissan’s recently launched second-generation Leaf incorporates ProPILOT technology that makes single-lane autonomous driving on highways possible.
This feature is set to appear on other Nissan models such as the X-Trail and Qashqai over the next 12 months.
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Self-driving cars used to be the product of science fiction so it’s crazy to think that in the next few years, they will become a reality.”
Posted on 30th October 2017
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