Imagine driving a car that can drive itself. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but I assure you that it’s not. Self-driving cars are the future.
Nissan plans to launch a range of self-driving cars by 2020. The company is in the process of getting clearance to test out its new vehicle, a Nissan Leaf electric car. The Leaf has been modified so that it can manoeuvre without a driver. However, there should always be someone sitting in the driver’s seat in case of an emergency.
Some premium models made by BMW, Audi and Mercedes already have systems that allow the vehicles to control steering and braking. So what makes Nissan any different? It is the first company to launch lane driving technology in a car for the mass market. The car can drive itself within a lane on the highway, and this is the first step towards making cars that can drive themselves.
The Leaf will include Nissan’s ProPilot system. The ProPilot system provides self-driving at speeds between 30 and 100 kph. It will follow the vehicle in front, slow to a stop then come to speed again, stay centered in lane, and deal with cars that squeeze into the space between you and the car in front.
Laser scanners determine the distance between the vehicle and its surroundings. This makes it easier to navigate in tight spaces. The 360° view camera makes accurate route decisions at intersections and on sharp curving roads.
By 2018, Nissan plans to achieve multiple lane driving that allows a vehicle to change lanes on a highway. By 2020, the ProPilot technology will allow the vehicle to drive itself on urban roads, including intersections.
Nissan said that its self-driving technology will be available “at realistic prices for consumers”. The goal is to make the technology available across the model range.
(Featured Image: CarAdvice)