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Nissan Unveils Safety Technologies Involving Advanced Sensors and Artificial Intelligence

August 21, 2013

Nissan is showcasing two new safety technologies on board Nissan LEAF vehicles. The innovations enhance Nissan's Safety Shield and also represent a step toward achieving autonomous driving, the automaker said.

The first innovation is advanced sensors. Laser scanners and “Around View Monitor” cameras assess the surroundings of the vehicle in a full 360-degree circle, continually looking for obstacles, other vehicles and potential risks, as well as road signs and signals. The second breakthrough is in the area of vehicle intelligence, which enables the car to react to the data the advanced sensors collect.

Together, the innovations enable the car to handle complex real-world road situations. Three new scenarios are being demonstrated at Nissan 360 for the first time:

  • Autonomous side distance control

  • Intersection entry and turning with oncoming traffic monitor

  • Overtaking with oncoming traffic monitor.

Side distance control is used on the highway. It enables the car to recognize when the lane is closed because of obstacles narrowing the travel path and to steer to avoid a collision. Such a situation might occur in the real world when lanes on a highway are closed for roadwork.

Intersection entry/turn with oncoming traffic monitor is an application for city driving. The Nissan LEAFs at the N360 event 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.

These innovations demonstrated at Nissan 360 come from Nissan’s Research and Development with the long-term aim to create “collision-free cars.” Nissan has already developed, and continues to improve, Safety Shield, which provides the driver with an all-around driver support system, including Around View Monitor, Back-up Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention and Distance Control Assist. Safety Shield monitors 360 degrees around the car for risks, offers warnings to the driver and takes action to prevent an accident.

The new technologies strengthen the capability to detect and avoid a potential risk from an early stage, before the situation becomes critical, Nissan said.

The philosophy of Nissan’s Research and Development is to put driver and car into a partnership with the shared goal of a safer journey. There are three basic steps in driving and avoiding a potential accident: recognition, judgment and action. Nissan’s existing Safety Shield assists with all three. The technology being demonstrated at Nissan 360 is an extension of the capabilities of Safety Shield, and research into further advances is underway.

Recognition – monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings for risks, as well as road signs and signals.

Judgment – advanced artificial intelligence to assist the driver in decision-making.

Action – the ability of the vehicle to react to a potential danger, such as by steering or braking to avoid a collision. The Nissan LEAF contains advanced actuators making it ideal for the application of innovative safety technology.

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