Japanese auto major, Nissan has recently installed its latest advanced autonomous drive technology on its Infiniti Q50. The automaker is testing its vehicle extensively before its public unveiling in order to check the system’s proficiency and safety. Nissan roped in CNN to showcase how well equipped, efficient and advanced its new autonomous car technology is while navigating through the busy highly of Japan’s capital city Tokyo.
The test drive video from CNN shows how exactly the new advanced form of the Nissan ProPilot is which empowers the Infiniti Q50 prototype model. The car is shown to able to drive on its own on the busy Tokyo highway without the intervention of the human driver. The test drive video seems to be straight out of a sci-fi movie where the car simply asks you ‘where would you like to go’ and then navigates efficiently to drive you around. The test drive of the autonomous Infiniti Q50 prototype model involved a fully successful autonomous drive of 12 miles or 20 kilometers without any human intervention. The car’s start and end point were the same.
The modified Infiniti Q50 empowered with Nissan’s advanced autonomous drive system is equipped with a suite of 12 cameras, 12 sonars, 9 radar sensors and 6 laser scanners in order to enhance the accuracy of the car’s independent traveling.
The test prototype did carry a human driver sitting in the driver’s seat in order to handle any emergency situations. However, the driver’s hands were totally off the steering wheel and his feet off the pedals of the vehicle. During the entire test drive shown in the CNN video, the human driver did not put any inputs in the car apart from setting the car’s destination at the start of the drive.
Speaking on the development, the general manager at Nissan's strategy group, Tetsuya Iijima said that the company has tried to attain human-like, comfortable driving experience with this vehicle. Thus, the company has focused on no jerks or sudden movements and a smooth drive. He added by saying that if the users don't feel comfortable taking rides in the vehicle, then it will not be accepted by the public.
Nissan is hoping to roll out this new advanced autonomous drive tech for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
However, this isn’t Nissan’s first successful fully driver-less test drive. The Japanese auto major conducted first successful test drives of hands-free vehicles on the roads of Tokyo back in 2013 and 2015. 2016 and early this year witnessed more test drives of the fully autonomous cars in Silicon Valley and in London.
Nissan’s current ProPilot system (a semi-autonomous technology) which is able to offer single-lane freeway autonomous driving is already offered in many Nissan models including the Serena minivan, the X-Trail and the new generation Leaf electric vehicle which will go on sale in 2018.
While explaining how accurate the advanced autonomous tech from Nissan is, Iijima said that the Infiniti Q50 prototype has been installed with a highly precise positioning system. While a regular GPS has around 5-meter accuracy range at the most, the test model has a positioning system that is accurate to 30 centimeters.
We expect Nissan to wow with its advanced autonomous vehicles by 2020.