Self-driving Nissan car drives like your granny

3 November 2015
By Jack Loughran
Mobile version
Share |
Nissan hopes its driverless technology will be fully rolled out to commercial vehicles in 2020

Nissan hopes its driverless technology will be fully rolled out to commercial vehicles in 2020

Nissan has begun demonstrations of its self-driving vehicle, with many of the first drivers noting the system’s cautious driving style.

The Japanese car company’s ‘intelligent driving’ feature allows drivers to hand over full control to the vehicle without needing to use the steering wheel, the accelerator pedal or brakes.

The car uses in-built radars, lasers, cameras and computer chips to ensure safety and route efficiency. It is capable of navigating junctions without lane markers and braking safely to a stop in dangerous situations.

Reporters testing the new vehicle in Tokyo were given a half-hour ride in the prototype on a scenic, pre-programmed course on Tokyo roads, which included stopping at traffic lights, making turns, changing lanes and crossing a bridge across the bay.

Many were critical of its performance for being painstakingly careful. The vehicle always stayed within the speed limit and slowed down during complicated situations, such as cars coming from another lane, so that it had time to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Nissan is planning to release the autonomous vehicles for sale in 2020 although abbreviated versions of the technology will be introduced from next year, such as keeping a safe distance from the car in front on congested roads.

The new technology is reportedly unable to deal with unexpected situations, such as moving to the side of the road if an ambulance approaches.

On one test ride, the human driver had to intervene because the car did not properly recognise a lane that was drawn obscurely.

Nissan’s general manager Tetsuya Iijima admitted the system needed fine-tuning, but was confident that it would deliver better safety than human drivers overall, citing research which showed that 90 per cent of traffic accidents are caused by driver error.

"It's like a kid, we need to make it understand the world - the severe world,” he said.

Jeremy Carlson, senior analyst at IHS Automotive and an expert on autonomous driving, praised Nissan for having "a clear road map" for the technology it was working on.

"Nissan's plans to successively deploy piloted drive technologies keep the automaker at or near the leading edge of the industry in driver assistance technology, both in Japan and worldwide," he said.

Last month, Tesla began upgrading its model S series through an over-the-air update to allow it to drive automatically on highways. Some early videos uploaded by users showed the car exhibiting dangerous behaviours.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Chair in Integrated Sensor Technology

    The University of Edinburgh
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

    The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top 20 institutions of higher education.....

    • Recruiter: The University of Edinburgh

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Electrical Engineer - Power

    BAE Systems
    • Bristol, England / Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Principal Electrical Engineer - Power Join our Electrical Power team and help design the self-contained generation and distribution system for the Successor submarine - a new generation of submarine designed to carry the UK's independent nuclear deterrent

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Operations Supervisor (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation)

    National Grid
    • England, Cambridgeshire
    • £33000 - £39000 per annum

    Operations Supervisor - (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation) Salary: Circa £33k - 39k dependant on experience + vehicle and great additional benefits (share scheme, pension, potential bonus).Location: Wisbech - Cambridgeshire We currently have an excit

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Lead NDT Trainer

    BAE Systems
    • England, Lancashire
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to be involved with training UK and international teams in Non Destructive Inspection (NDI) to support the in service fleet (Typhoon Tornado, and Hawk)?

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Design - Emerging Portfolio

    • Bristol
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   There are fantastic opportunities in Systems Design for engineers to work within Future Systems. These are highly visible, fast paced roles, in...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Metering Engineer

    Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
    • Teddington, United Kingdom
    • £24,109 - £27,961 plus EO Electronics PE of £8,090.00

    We are now looking for a Metering Engineer to deliver RD’s In-Service Testing (IST) scheme for gas and electricity meters.

    • Recruiter: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • PLM Engineer (Product Lifecycle Management)

    BAE Systems
    • Shropshire, England, Telford
    • Negotiable

    PLM Engineer (Product Lifecycle Management) Would you like a varied role that involves working across all engineering functions within BAE Systems Land UK? We currently have a vacancy for a PLM Engineer at our site in Telford with occasional travel within

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶


Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T