Nissan move to new stage of autonomous-drive trials

In February Nissan announced its roadmap to put its autonomous-drive mobility services into commercial use in Japan and, as part of that journey, the company have now begun demonstrations of a prototype vehicle on the  streets of Yokohama.

An advancement on previous prototypes, the Nissan LEAF being used here is equipped with an array of roof-mounted sensors, giving it a technological arsenal of 14 cameras, 10 radars and 6 LIDAR sensors (Light Detection and Ranging), significantly expanding the detection area and enabling more accurate detection of its surroundings.

Nissan explain that these new features have enhanced recognition performance, behavioral prediction, judgment functions and control functions, delivering smooth operation in a variety of complex scenarios.

In Yokohama, home to Nissan’s global headquarters, the LEAF prototype is demonstrating its ability to predict the behavior of pedestrians, conduct lane changes when merging, and judge when to safely enter intersections.

While the current demonstration is being conducted with a safety driver present, the company plan to work with third parties, such as local authorities and transport operators, to begin offering autonomous-drive mobility services starting in 2027.

Towards the end of this year, Nissan aims to begin trials in the Minato Mirai area, during which the level of autonomous driving functionality will be gradually increased while assessing customer acceptance, with the aim to provide driverless services.

This initiative is carried out in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and other central ministries. These ministries are also spearheading efforts to implement new autonomous mobility services through the Level 4 Mobility Acceleration Committee they have established.

Nissan describe their long-term vision as solving the transportation service issues faced by local communities, particularly in Japan where issues such as the driver shortages cause by an ageing population.


Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


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