Nissan has unveiled an autonomous car prototype in Japan.
Nissan is looking to shake up the electric car industry big time.
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.
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.
This feature could get added to cars by late next year, and it will allow the driver to sit back and relax as the car operate autonomously in heavy highway traffic.
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.
The car is equipped with a high-spec laser scanner, which makes a 3D measurement and calculates the distance between the car and objects around it. With a 360-degree view, the car knows where it is, what obstacles to avoid, and how to navigate on a map.
According to a statement, the company aims to create a car that will help push the world toward a future of zero-emission vehicles. Nissan’s goal is to eliminate the emission of carbon dioxide from its vehicles eventually. It has a second goal: zero fatality, which is to eliminate fatalities from traffic accidents. This new product could help the company achieve both ends.
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. It will have lots of competition, not just from other car makers but also companies like Google and Apple.