2015 Nissan Leaf aims to be more self aware

Japan’s largest showcase of electronics and information technology, CEATEC, turned out to be a bit of a razzle dazzle for electric car technology this year.

Besides the very futuristic looking Toyota Smart INSECT electric car buzzing around the show floor, Nissan was busy showcasing a Leaf that can almost fully operate by itself.

Dubbed NSC-2015, this modified, all-electric Leaf was designed with next generation IT and automated driving functions in mind. Nissan said the vehicle has a remote monitoring system that understands the environment around it via an all-around view camera and 4th generation (4G) mobile communications. Using these technologies it can provide for itself “a precise recognition of the surrounding environment (even in underground parking lots).”

As an example of what it might be capable of doing, Nissan said, after the driver exits the NSC-2015, it could park itself automatically via instructions fed to it from a smartphone app. It would look “for a vacant parking space while identifying its surroundings; once it detects an open parking space automated parking begins.”

Using the same smartphone app, the driver could later instruct the EV to come pick him up. This is all done via something Nissan is calling Automated Valet Parking technology.

As for the EVs security, the Japanese automaker noted the car’s security system automatically works with the camera installed in it. If the system detects suspicious behavior, the driver is alerted automatically by a report to his or her smartphone.

Nissan is aiming to make this automated vehicle technology viable by 2015. It believes it could be a real big time saver and make it safer for driving in general for the driver in addition to being very high tech and cool.

“With 90% of accidents caused by human error,” said Toru Futami, Expert Leader for Nissan’s IT & ITS Development department, in a statement.

“We aimed to make a machine that could reduce error to as close to zero as possible and prevent an accident before it happens. Another objective was to reduce time-loss, such as that spent on looking for parking. That can be about 10 minutes lost door-to-door, when all you need to do is get to the entrance.”

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling