The Japanese automaker has always been an innovator of autonomous technology, with Carlos Ghosn originally hoping the systems would be ready for wide adoption by 2020.
But the reality is a bit different, so at this edition of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the CEO decided to showcase some of the solutions used to achieve that goal (albeit a little later than previewed). Because machines are not yet capable of handling complex problems, Nissan has decided to implement the Seamless Autonomous Mobility technology as a demonstrator – their solution is to not have the computer try to find a solution but instead hand over control to a human in a remote location that will drive the vehicle and the autonomous cars will learn via observation.
For example, when an accident occurs with first responders on scene a human driver would easily identify and react accordingly when they signal how to drive around the scene. Nissan believes a driverless car “cannot and should not, reliably judge what to do by itself” in this situation. The Seamless Autonomous Mobility would then contact a human controller from a remote site – handing over all the data from the sensors – and also momentarily allowing the human to control the drive. Then the vehicles in the area would know how to avoid the hazard instead of the person from the base taking over from each. Nissan thinks Seamless Autonomous Mobility will become crucial in the future and has started a collaboration with Japanese company DeNA to begin developing self-driving, electric commercial models for carrying packages.