Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sat in the driver’s seat for a test of Nissan’s latest Autonomous Drive car prototype ahead of technology exhibition CEATEC JAPAN 2013 , which opened on Tuesday.
After not quite taking the wheel, CEO Ghosn spoke to the Global Media Center, reaffirming plans to introduce self-driving cars by 2020. Ghosn says they’ve made impressive strides in the last 2 years in the intelligence of their prototypes, but is now keen to turn up the focus on driverless cars.
What is impressive about Nissan’s driverless car prototypes is that they don’t have the massive, ugly LiDAR system mounted on the roof of the vehicle like Google’s driverless car. Despite hundreds of thousands of kilometres, this has been a major drawback to their offering. Worse than the visual appearance of such a system, is its impact on the aerodynamics of the vehicle and consequential increased fuel usage.
While there’s fancy red and blue LEDs inside and outside the car, it’s likely the environment mapping is done using sensors embedded in the body of the vehicle instead.