Nissan Tests Collision Avoidance Tech for Self-Driving Cars
Nissan is working with Lidar developer Luminar to enhance the autonomous capabilities of its cars.
The Japanese automaker’s new “ground truth perception” driver-assistance tech is focused on collision avoidance and is being tested on a Skyline sedan fitted with Lidar sensors from the California-based company, as well as radar and cameras.
The ongoing development work is being carried out at a Nissan facility in Yokohama, Japan, and is claimed to use “highly accurate, real-time information about the vehicle’s surrounding environment” to reduce the likelihood of a collision.
Nissan says the technology can detect the shape and distance of objects, as well as the structure of the area around the vehicle. By using this information, a vehicle at risk of crashing can instantly analyze a situation and automatically attempt to avoid doing so.
This functionality extends to avoiding slowed or stationary traffic and road obstacles in the distance, allowing automated lane changes to be swiftly executed. The tech can also provide increased support to drivers in areas where detailed map information is not available.
“When we look at the future of autonomous driving, we believe that it is of utmost importance for owners to feel highly confident in the safety of their vehicle,” said Takao Asami, senior vice president, leading global research and development. “We are confident that our in-development ground truth perception technology will make a significant contribution to owner confidence, reduced traffic accidents and autonomous driving in the future.”
Luminar’s role in providing the Lidar and helping with its configuration reflects its growing influence in the auto industry. As well as Nissan, the Palo Alto firm confirmed earlier this year it was working with Mercedes on its self-driving program. Volvo is another collaborator, and Luminar announced in January that its tech would be used in Ride Pilot, an automated feature to be offered by subscription upgrade to owners of selected models in California.
Nissan has also revealed it is working with a second partner on its collision avoidance technology. Silicon Valley-based simulator developer Applied Intuition has been tasked with investigating potentially dangerous driving scenarios on a virtual basis.
The fruits of this work could be seen relatively imminently. Nissan says it aims to complete the development of the ground truth perception technology by the mid-2020s, with “select new models” likely to be fitted with it initially. By 2030, virtually every new Nissan will benefit from it.