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Nissan LEAF demonstrates autonomous driving safety tech

Nissan has demonstrated for the first time, two new, key technologies which take us a step closer to autonomous driving, using its LEAF electric car.

Nissan LEAF 2013 in red

As well as taking us closer to the dream of driverless cars, the technologies could improve safety, helping the firm realise its vision for sustainable motoring with virtually no traffic accidents leading to death or serious injury.

The first innovation is advanced sensors. Lasers and Around View Monitor cameras monitor the full 360 degrees around the car, looking for obstacles and potential hazards as well as taking in road signs and signals. The second breakthrough is in the area of vehicle intelligence which enables the car to react to the data that the sensors collect.

For the first time, the carmaker has demonstrated that how technologies work in three real-world road situations; autonomous side distance control, intersection entry and turning with oncoming traffic monitor and finally overtaking with oncoming traffic monitor.

Nissan 360 showcase of new technology

Side distance control is used on the motorway. It enables the car to recognise when the lane is closed due to obstacles narrowing the travel path, and steer to avoid a collision. Such a situation might occur in the real world when lanes on a carriageway are closed for road works.

Intersection entry/turn with oncoming traffic monitor is an application for city driving. The Nissan LEAFs used to demonstrate the technology are capable of passing through a junction while avoiding oncoming traffic.

Overtaking with oncoming traffic monitor is a capability also used in urban areas. The vehicle can detect a parked car at the side of the road, check for a gap in oncoming traffic, and steer around the obstacle when it is safe to proceed.

Developed by Nissan’s Research and Development team, the new technologies are being demonstrated as part of Nissan’s 360 showcase; a month long celebration to mark the carmaker’s 80th anniversary.

Part of the firm’s Safety Shield developments, the new technologies add to safety tech already in production including  Around View Monitor, Back-up Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention and Distance Control Assist.

It is hoped that eventually the technology could lead to the creation of ‘collision-free cars’.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Electric cars, Nissan

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