Nissan has taken the wraps off a self-driving version of its Leaf pure electric hatch at the Createc technology show in Japan.
Dubbed NSC-2015, the concept takes existing self-parking systems to the next level by locating parking spaces and parking itself - while the driver goes about their business elsewhere.
This function is enabled via a series of sensors, cameras, and 4G communication technology, but Nissan stops short of labeling the NSC-2015 as ‘autonomous’.
An ‘autonomous’ tag would suggest that the car is capable of travelling from A to B, as with the recently licensed Google autonomous vehicle project.
A more feasible element of the NSC-2015 is its ability to interact with the driver’s smartphone, with its 360 degree camera able to act as an intelligent surveillance system - offering alerts to the driver via their phone.
The driver’s smartphone can also be used to recall the NSC-2015 from its parking space, before meeting the driver at a user-defined spot; for example, outside a restaurant, workplace or shopping centre.
This last feature is an example of life imitating art (to a degree), with a similar function also used by David Hasselhoff’s character Michael Knight to summon his vehicular sidekick ‘KITT’ in the 80s TV series Knight Rider.
Nissan has not suggested that the NSC-2015 will rescue its owner from baddies however.
Unlike KITT, Nissan suggests that the features previewed by the NSC-2015 could reach production by 2015.
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