With the advent of autonomous mobility capabilities across the globe, there’s not much longer before self-driving vehicles will be traversing the Indian roads as well. However, Japanese carmaker Nissan has already initiated the process to bring its autonomous technology stack, known as ProPilot autonomous driving system, to the country.
According to several reports, Nissan has filed a cohort of patent applications, not more than five, related to self-driving technology in the country between February and May. The said applications are linked to the ‘electronic subsystems,’ which enable the vehicle to sense the road traffic conditions and assist the driver control with advanced navigation and maneuver data.
Talking about the same, a Nissan spokesperson in an email statement said:
The timing of introduction of advanced technologies in our products will depend on specific situations in the market, driving patterns, the readiness of road infrastructure, customers and governments’ acceptability. There is no other information we may provide at this moment.
We will be undertaking testing of the Nissan Leaf this year in India. This is only pilot testing and not a programme for mass-market entry of Leaf. We will look at how to adapt EVs to Indian needs.
Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving system is capable of driving on single-lane highways and as it has already been said by many, India is a significant testbed to perfect self-driving technologies. The unsolicited traffic, where everyone is always in a hurry and no rules prevail in most locations, can help the system gain more data points and further the judgement speed.
Some of these patent filings have been spotted by Factor Daily, who provides us insight on what exactly the Japanese automaker is planning for India. One of these filings is titled, position self-calculation device, and described as easily being capable of accurately detecting patterned light that has been projected onto a road surface. This technique also enables the vehicle to then calculate its position with respect to the positioning of the device.
Other patents describe technologies which either assist the driver when its changing lanes or help them prevent collisions. There is not much info on how the said device integrations exactly work with the Leaf EVs but this falls in line with the government’s plan to electrify the roads of the nation by 2030. It sees more than 7 million electric vehicles driving on Indian roads in the coming ten odd years.