Autonomous Drive: Science-Fiction Becomes Science-Fact

In the literary world, it’s often said that science-fiction writers have a penchant for crafting narratives that come to fruition in real life. Space travel, robotics, nanotechnology, cloning, and a myriad of other topics transitioned from the pages of fantasy to the articles of scientific journals. There’s no shortage of astounding innovations that have improved the quality of life in some manner. This is particularly true in the world of automobiles.

Safety is a modern-day keyword that vehicle manufacturers are always advocating. Safety accolades are also content for a deluge of advertisements that show off their ratings with IIHS and Kelley Blue Book. This trend has led to developing a greater number of features for autonomous driving, such as parking assist and blind spot detection. Drivers are experiencing a revolution in how they drive – and their expectations behind the wheel. As true with the LEAF in all-electric vehicles, Nissan is at the forefront of this transformation.

Photo: Hybrid Cars

Photo: Hybrid Cars

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s CEO, recently provided more insight of the company’s future lineup of autonomous vehicles. As with the competition, the Japanese automaker systematically releases newer features to demonstrate their effectiveness, refine the technology, and acclimate consumers to these advancements. The next cluster of autonomous driving assists will be found in the 2016 models: (1) traffic-jam pilot, which allows cars to navigate congested roadways; (2) fully-automated parking systems, so no action is required of the driver.

Nissan’s system is called “Autonomous Drive.”

2018 will set another benchmark when it introduces a system that maneuvers along multi-lane highways without driver input. Within the following two years, a new feature will afford the vehicle the capacity to move through intersections. All of this leads to a complete package that will be available in 2020.

Ghosn has observed three primary facts of today’s lifestyle that inspire confidence in his company’s direction…

Urbanization of Society – Sounds really complex, doesn’t it? Well, it is in many ways. Put simplistically: people are moving from classic suburbia into the heart of the metropolitan area. This creates a need for more autonomous features to handle problematic traffic.

The “Internet of Everything” – People are constantly connected to the world around them through various devices. There is no acceptable time for them to break those connections – even while driving. This, too, naturally leads us on a path toward a vehicle’s autonomy.

Elderly – With baby boomers growing older, there is a genuine need for more features that can assist them drive safely and efficiently. They don’t want to give up their independence, and shouldn’t have to, because of their age.

How do you feel about autonomous features and cars? Let us know your thoughts!

Autonomous Drive: Science-Fiction Becomes Science-Fact was last modified: December 29th, 2014 by Leith Nissan

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