Google may be the company most associated with autonomous driving—its modified Toyota Prius Google Car project continues to develop—but Nissan looks to further self-driving car plans of its own. At Japan’s CEATEC consumer electronics tradeshow, the Japanese automaker unveiled the Nissan NSC-2015, based on the Nissan Leaf fully electric vehicle. Though both look to use autonomous driving technology, there are differences between the two programs.
While Google looks to make a fully-autonomous driving car, the Nissan NSC-2015 will initially handle tasks such as autonomously parking, after the driver has left the vehicle. Using cloud computing, a remote system recognizes the surrounding environment and makes use of various smartphone applications to park the car. Using these smartphone apps, a driver can also order their car to come pick them up. In addition to parking functions, Nissan says the NSC-2015 can employ the car’s security camera system and detect potentially suspicious behavior. The driver will then receive an alert to their smartphone, allowing them to temporarily set the car alarm off, alert authorities, or take other action. Nissan says as the prototype’s name would suggest, the autonomous driving technology is planned to launch in 2015. Google has been moving towards legislation that would allow for the use of autonomous driving technology in various states.
The question remains though, would you want one?