Nissan joins Silicon Valley for self-driving and connected cars

Renault-Nissan Alliance rides in Intelligent Driving Leaf
Renault-Nissan Alliance rides in Intelligent Driving Leaf

Nissan recently held an open house in Silicon Valley to show off its self-driving technology, called the Alliance Innovation Tour, which brought out media, alliance executives and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to check out Nissan’s autonomous zero emission “Intelligent Driving.” Nissan’s self-driving cars are electric Nissan Leafs, emblazoned with the moniker Nissan Intelligent Driving.

Takao Asami, VP of research and advanced engineering says Silicon Valley is a very special place where diversities, start-ups, IT companies and venture capital companies compose an econ-system of innovation. It is very important for us to work with them together with them.

Nissan has a three-point vision:

  1. Autonomous driving.
  2. Connected car.
  3. Zero emissions.

For the connected car, Nissan is trying to make the car more flexible and familiar with smartphones using creativity. People expect their car to become an extension of their ecosystem. Nissan will strive to make cars a part of users every day lives.

First is connecting the car with overall users experiences such as smartphones or connected wearables or IoT.

“We are good a software and Artificial Intelligence. We want to expand that capability. You will see our team growing here with AI expertise for autonomous software platform for Nissan Renault Alliance,” Maarten Sierfhuis, director of Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley who noted that autonomous driving is 90% software.

The autonomous Leaf says “Good Afternoon,” and asks “Where would you like to go?” at the start of the driver.

Safety technology will launched in ten cars over the next four years.

The goal of Nissan Renault is “Zero emissions and zero fatalities delivered through the autonomous fully connected car.

The first goal is single lane technology for stop and go highway traffic. In 2018 will of offer “multiple-lane control,” which can autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes during highway driving with hazard avoidance. And 2020 will see the launch of “intersection autonomy,” which can navigate city intersections and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.

Media took autonomous stints on the streets and highways of Silicon Valley, meeting with those behind the technologies as well as speaking with executives directing the adoption across multiple cars in the Alliance.

Participants experienced a hands-off ride with the latest in autonomous merge and recognition technologies, as well as a quick tour of the area  in an increasingly connected and autonomous car era.