It’s not only the tech companies that are working on self-driving cars, conventional manufacturers have now joined the race as well and many are looking to get their autonomous cars out on roads by the year 2020. Nissan, a well known manufacturer based in Japan, has announced that it has started testing its autonomous car prototype that’s based on the popular Nissan Leaf. The tests are not being conducted on private property instead the car is being but to the test on Japan’s inner city highways and roads with proper traffic.
Nissan’s Piloted Drive mode is a part of its Intelligent Driving System and that’s what powers the autonomous Leaf, the system is capable of taking control of the car in various situations, for example the first version of this system which Nissan hopes to bring to consumer vehicles by next year will allow the car to drive itself on the highway amid heavy traffic. Not unlike what Tesla’s Autopilot features can do.
To allow the system to safely drive the car on urban roads packed with traffic the company created a high-spec laser scanner which relies on 3D measurement to ascertain the car’s distance from other objects closeby. That’s aided by an eight-way camera that has a 360-degree view, all of that data enables the system to navigate through an intersection.
Over the next few years Nissan will continue to further develop this system and aims to add the ability to change lanes by the year 2018 and by 2020 Nissan hopes that the system will be good enough to allow the car to navigate through intersections and inner city roads without any input from the driver.