Today, I experienced the unusual, thrilling sensation of riding in the driver's seat of an autonomous-drive car as it navigated the streets of Sunnyvale in California's Silicon Valley. The car is an advanced prototype Infiniti Q50 sedan capable of handling complex city driving. It has a special California registration for autonomous drive vehicles, and I had to receive a special state license to operate it hands-free.
When Nissan's Tetsuya Iijima (pronounced EE-ee-JEE-mah) envisions the future of driving, he's not only thinking about how autonomous driving will impact the "behind-the-wheel" experience but how to help society prepare for it.
ProPILOT is Nissan Motor Co.'s single-lane autonomous driving technology. Once activated, ProPILOT can automatically control the distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle using a speed preset by the driver (between approximately 30 km/h and 100 km/h); it also keeps the vehicle centered in its lane.
Designing the autonomous vehicle of the future requires an array of the best technical talent available: automobile and software engineers, experts on sensor technology and artificial intelligence, computer scientists, production specialists and many others.
Space was not the final frontier for computer scientist Maarten Sierhuis. The former NASA researcher, who once designed human-robot interactions and developed collaborative intelligent systems for space exploration, now focuses his efforts a bit closer to home: the artificial intelligence that's helping power the future of Nissan's autonomous vehicles.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that the new Serena, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late August, will come equipped with the company's ProPILOT autonomous drive technology, offering convenience and peace of mind during highway mobility.