Are self-driving cars the future? If you believe science fiction, then hell yes, self-driving cars are just on the horizon! Well OK, maybe not. But Google has definitely rekindled interest in self-driving cars with its automated Prius, and Nissan is getting into the game with its own self-driving Leaf electric car.
Nissan debuted the autonomous Leaf at Ceatec Japan, an annual technology conference focused on electronics and computing. Using a system it calls NSC-2015, the self-driving Nissan Leaf is really more of a self-parker. After the driver exits the Leaf, it will find an empty parking spot and sit there, monitoring the surrounding area for suspicious activity at the same time. The driver will stay connected via a smartphone app.
The driver can then summon the car to pick him or her up once they’re ready to leave. If this system could be combined with a wireless charging system, it would take a lot of the hassle out of owning a car in a major metro area. Electric cars are all about city living, and this limited self-driving system is probably easier to put into place than Google’s completely autonomous Prius. Then again, it also seems more advanced than the current crop of self-parking cars.
Then again, the system Google is developing is more far-reaching and useful in the long term. But short term, Nissan’s NSC-2015 (hint at a deployment date?) may actually be put into use. Yet the rules governing autonomous cars differ state by state, so who knows when, if at all, we’ll see Nissan use this self-parking technology.
Source: Edmunds Inside Line