During his CES keynote, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer, announced a few new interesting things we can expect from the company in the future. The first is the new version of the Leaf electric car.
The Nissan Leaf has proven itself to be quite popular among consumers. The company has sold more that 250,000 units of the EV worldwide since it was first introduced in 2010. According to Carlos Ghosn, we can expect to see a new and better version of the vehicle in the near future.
However, Mr. Ghosn did not reveal many details regarding the upcoming vehicle. But he did say that the new Leaf will be equipped with the ProPILOT technology, which means that it will offer autonomous driving functionality for single-lane highway driving. Other information regarding the car, including its range, price, and launch date, remain a mystery for now. Nissan will share more details with us regarding the EV at a later date.
In addition to the upcoming Leaf, Nissan has also announced the Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) system. When an autonomous vehicle is driving through the city streets and comes across an incident on the road where it cannot reliably judge what exactly it should do, the EV will come to a stop thanks to SAM and request help from the command center. That request will then be routed to the first available mobility manager, who will assess the situation and decide what course of action the vehicle should take. Nissan got the idea for SAM from NASA’s Visual Environment for Remote Virtual Exploration (VERVE) software, which operates in a somewhat similar way.
As Nissan puts it, SAM’s backbone is human/machine teaming. The system includes human brain power in hopes of improving autonomous mobility, which does sound like a good idea on paper. But how well will it work in real life scenarios? Only time will tell.