Nissan have revealed an electric car that will be able to park on its own and even come to the driver when called. Nissan’s NSC-2015 is only a prototype but it was unveiled at the Ceatec 2012 show in Tokyo earlier this week where the manufacturer confirmed they hope to have it on the market by 2015.
Many car manufacturers have been working on autonomous technology for the last few years and a number of driverless cars have been unveiled in recent months. However, industry analysts are dubious of seeing such sophisticated vehicles on the roads in three years’ time and feel that the mass use of such cars is a long way off. The NSC-2015 is a modified version of Nissan’s hugely popular Leaf model and it will rely on sensors, cameras, computers, 4G communication technology and robotics to turn the steering wheel, change gears and brake. When demonstrated, the car drove itself at about 3mph in a straight line forward and in reverse, and was even able to turn. It was also able to see and recognise road markings and even stop at a road crossing.
Paul Newton, from Nissan UK, said “After the driver exits the NSC-2015, it starts to park itself automatically, following the instructions given by their smartphone. The vehicle looks for a vacant parking space while identifying its surroundings; once it detects an open parking space automated parking begins. The driver can also use smartphone commands to make the NSC-2015 vehicle leave the parking space and return to the place where he or she is. However, I think that market for driverless cars is limited at the moment as people still have a fairly strong desire to control their car.”
Given the fact that most accidents are caused by driver error, car insurance firms should be happy to see a car that drives itself and can also safely park, even in tight spots, as it should reduce the number of accidents and claims made each year. While parked, the security camera in the car will automatically work with a camera installed in the vehicle. If the system detects suspicious behaviour, such as somebody trying to break into the vehicle, the driver will be alerted via his or her smartphone.