Video: Behind the Wheel of Nissan’s Autonomous LEAF


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Nissan recently announced that its engineers have been conducting “intensive research” on autonomous drive technology “for years.”

So, how advanced is this technology?

Here we see Slashgear riding shotgun in an autonomous Nissan LEAF, which surprisingly seems to do rather well at self-driving.

Nissan insists that its technology won’t be ready for primetime until around 2020, but it’s clear from this video that the basic autonomous technology already works.

According to Nissan:

“Work is already underway in Japan to build a dedicated autonomous driving proving ground, to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2014. Featuring real townscapes – masonry not mock-ups – it will be used to push vehicle testing beyond the limits possible on public roads to ensure the technology is safe.”

So, there’s some advanced testing that lies ahead, but this simple on-road demo shows us that Nissan is well on its way to developing the driverless vehicle.

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7 Comments on "Video: Behind the Wheel of Nissan’s Autonomous LEAF"

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Yes autonomous driving has great potential and it’s good they are (sort of) working on it.
The camera work is appalling. Sound, exposure, just bad. For a site that reviews tech gear that’s just terrible.
As for the car tech, since that is just flat asphalt with cones for a track that means it isn’t doing any autonomous location of any road since there is no road. It’s just a GPS waypoint driver with obstacle avoidance. Very wrong approach.

I agree about the camera work. What is the ideal approach for self-driving vehicles in your opinion? Given the state of roads in the US, I would say this approach is ideal. Other countries have roads in better condition, so a different approach might be better.

Autonomous cars will be great….. in the year 2030. (That’s what my crystal ball says). Hopefully some of the research in the meantime will make it into driver assisted cars.

Nissan said they’ll be selling these in 2020 — 10 years earlier than your prediction. GM also said 2020 for theirs too. Get ready to get a new Volt. 🙂

Say do. I’ll believe it when I see it, if I’m still alive.

Yes. From my experience of the Leaf, and other commuter cars, having it drive itself would be a big improvement. The only thing better would be if you could send the car to work, and you get to stay home and ride your bicycle. 🙂

Hey @Slashgear… don’t record such an important event on a low-quality phone camera.

This is amazing stuff. I can’t wait for 2020 to see these cars in action!