With plans to offer Nissan Piloted Drive 1.0 in Japan by the end of 2016, Nissan has commenced testing of the prototype, both on highways and city roads in its home market. Piloted Drive 1.0 enables autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions, while by 2018 Nissan expects to bring in multiple lane Piloted Drive allowing lane change on highways. A new technology will be introduced by 2020 ensuring efficient and autonomous vehicle management on city roads and even at intersections.
The vehicle being put to the test is based on the Nissan Leaf electric car fitted with a host of on-board equipment that includes millimeter wave radar, laser scanners, and cameras. It will also be fitted with highly efficient computer chips and a special Human Machine Interface which will all work in combination to allow autonomous driving.
A highly efficient laser scanner being used on-board this prototype is a specially developed miniature unit that determines the distance between vehicle and surroundings via three dimensional measurements. This allows the vehicle to navigate routes in tight spaces.
An 8 way, 360 degree view camera system also enables specific routing decisions while tackling intersections and sharp curves. With all these technologies, the prototype vehicle facilitates smooth driving thus allowing passengers to feel as if they are being driven by a skilled driver.
Human Machine Interface consists of Piloted Drive Commander, Meter Cluster, Heads Up Display and Center Cluster each playing a specific role in Nissan Piloted Drive.