Nissan will use artificial intelligence tech from NASA to drive cars

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at CESNissanNissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at CES.

On Thursday, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed that a new generation Leaf electric car is in the works along with several key developments in autonomous driving technology.

Ghosn made these announcements during his keynote speech at CES 2017.

Here are a few of the highlights.

First, Ghosn confirmed that a second generation Leaf electric car is indeed on the way and will arrive in “the near future.”

However, few details regarding to next gen Leaf was revealed. Which means they haven’t told us how much it will cost or how much range it will have. However, we do know that the new Leaf will be equipped with Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology. The camera-based ProPilot system is designed to allow the company’s cars to function autonomously in certain highway driving conditions.

In addition, Nissan announced the launch of its new Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) system. Derived from NASA-sourced technology, SAM utilises artificial intelligence to determine if human intervention is required.

Nissan Leaf CES SAMNissanGen 1 Nissan Leaf with Seamless Autonomous Mobility.

In effect, SAM is smart enough to know that it’s not smart enough to fully comprehend certain situations. But, instead of turning to the occupants for guidance, SAM relays information from its LIDAR, cameras, radar to a human “mobility manager” who is then able to instruction the car.

According to Nissan, SAM is able to use each interaction it has with city streets as a learning opportunity. As a result, the longer SAM is on the road, the less instances it will require human intervention. Nissan based the SAM technology on NASA’s Visual Environment for Remote Exploration (VERVE) software. It’s a system NASA uses to manage interplanetary robots.

Nissan believes that SAM could one day be a benefit for the everyone from individuals car owners to mass transport systems.

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