The rise of the machines: Nissan’s driverless cars to be showroom ready by 2020

autonomous cars one in five drivers would own self driving nissan autonotmous leaf
Nissan announces that the first autonomous LEAF is hitting the roadways of Japan, keeping the company on track for its 2020 onsale date for fully autonomous consumer cars.

Ladies and gentlemen, the robots are here.

Nissan just announced that it has obtained permission to test the first autonomously driven cars on the public roads of Japan.

The technology is dubbed in brutally unoriginal fashion, “Advanced Driver Assist System.” Seriously, this is a self driving car straight out of sci-fi and that’s the best Nissan could come up with? The system will be installed on the LEAF and is able to do everything from lane keeping to automatically overtaking slow or stopped vehicles. In short; the things we used to call driving.

Like other autonomous driving technologies, the Advanced Driver Assist System uses a combination of lasers, radar, GPS, cameras and what I can only assume is an evil computer brain straight out of the Terminator. Most of these technologies have been in use to some degree or another for a while now, as things like radar guided cruise control and lane departure warnings have become commonplace. In fact, Nissan views this new system as a simple outgrowth of its 360 Degree Safety Shield.

These field tests are a major step in the Japanese automaker’s plan to take over the world by 2020 – I mean introduce commercial and consumer self-driving vehicles by 2020. The data gathered will be used to evaluate and improve the safety and reliability of the technology and the weaknesses of puny human drivers.

While this is a first for Japan, it is not for the LEAF. This twee electric car has been at the forefront of the robot invasion for a while. In Britain it is the basis for the RobotCar program out of Oxford. That version is entirely aftermarket and is currently able to memorize only specific routes.

A recent study has shown that although automakers are keen to get fully autonomous cars in showrooms by 2020, buyers plainly don’t want them.

This apparently won’t stop the technology research, though.Including Google’s pilot program in Nevada and GM’s autonomous cars in Michigan, we can now expect to see autonomous cars on three continents by the end of the year. And I for one thank our new robot overlords. All hail the machines!  

Cars

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.
Cars

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.