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Five lasers and five cameras help Nissan LEAF drive itself into demo at CEATEC in Japan

Put five lasers and five cameras in a Nissan LEAF, and what do you get? A car that can drive itself into an expo hall, as Nissan demonstrated its autonomous-car technology at CEATEC in Yokohama, Japan. That’s Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in the photograph above, no hands on the wheel. The Japanese automaker promised to deliver a commercially viable version of the tech in cars by the year 2020. (What is it about that year 2020, anyway? Every future advancement known to man seems projected to occur then.)

Most long-term plans for autonomous cars involve at least some form of infrastructure investment. A recently completed study held in Ann Arbor, Michigan used test cars that communicate with each other over a dedicated radio band. In Nissan’s demonstration, the cameras and lasers monitor the surroundings.

Nissan first started talking about sensors for monitoring other cars as part of its Safety Shield technology, way back in 2004. In vehicles like the 2014 Nissan Altima, you can already find Moving Object Detection (MOD) sensors to warn you, at speeds below 5 miles per hour, about an approaching car. The 2014 Chevy Impala has similar crash-detection sensors.


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