The New Autonomous Electric Nissan LEAF Plug In America

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The New Autonomous Electric Nissan

Fri, 09/20/2013 — — Paul

Posted with from the author. Previously at Clean Technica.

Monday email from Nissan’s Tim inviting me to visit the El Toro Base on Wednesday was too good to be Nissan was going to have the new driving car, an electric LEAF, available to drive. I guess drive is the wrong

I’ll be riding in it.

As if that more than enough to me to make the long drive Orange County, Tim sweetened the with the possibility of a test in the Nismo LEAF. This is a race car with a LEAF train inside a carbon and aluminum chassis and a seriously racing suspension.

Of course go.

Since they had a fast on site, we didn’t hesitate to the LEAF on what turned out to be a 150 day. With cruise set, Zan and I headed south on the Along the way, we received that 60 Minutes was shooting for an segment on EVs and they wanted to at our National Plug In Day venue in Beach.

This was great news and set a positive tone for our trip.

El is a former Marine Base an airfield. Much of it is being into a large park, but are many activities of all kinds and because of the very large its often used as a location for car to conduct test drives.

were three main the autonomous cars (auto a race track, and some big hills for the 4X4 crowd to test the ability of the trucks.

We started the auto autos which going to call robot I don’t care for that but it’ll do till we come up something better.

The car in question was a 2012 LEAF.


There were rectangular around the car that held used to accurately measure around the car. Notice the round button-sized holes, contain sonic sensors I suppose echo locate bats.

Zan and I along with two Nissan climbed in the car. Other two additional iPad-sized screens, the car was on the inside.

The driver started but very quickly set the computer in and the car was then being controlled by codes that knew how to with most anything the car encounter on this particular track. Several cameras, and sonic sensors read the pretty accurately.

The acceleration was up to the posted speed limit captured the speed limit and the computer understood what it The car tracked the white lines on the perfectly. At one point, a human was rolled quickly into the of the car and the car took immediate evasive

We ended by climbing onto a and viewing the car park itself. The got out of the car and the car drove itself down the row of stopped while another car a parking space, then it past that space and right into it — in one try. I asked why they had it in and not from the front.

I was told because it’s to back in and they wanted to that they could do it the hard way.

All in all, was an eye opening experience. Nissan that they will autonomous cars in the market by That’s essentially six years, of time to perfect the technology.

been following robot since reading this 6 part series in Forbes 8 months ago. I’m this technology will vehicles inside of 30 years. on global political circumstances, it happen much sooner.

will be the primary driver. robot cars are going to be efficient. They’ll be programmed to Many people will subscribe to a taxi/ride share where a car is sent whenever you it at a cost per mile less owning your own car.

And if you’re willing to carpool, cost much less.

You need to maintain or wash a never take it to a gas station, have to find parking, get dropped off right at the front and walk in. Keeping a car at home is If you have a garage, or a dedicated space, you pay a lot of money for it.

If you could a house without a garage or driveway, you’d save If you could rent an apartment or buy a with no garage, it would you much less.

The cars be much safer. Last in the U.S. there were 6 million crashes costing a $160 billion! Car crashes are the top of death for four to 34 year and 93% of accidents are due to human error, inattention.

Most of that go away when computers the driving. You can text all you want, the doesn’t care.

I’m pleased that the company I for is a leader in this technology. Google, Tesla, Mercedes, and GM, all getting into this it’s only a matter of before computers begin some of the more wasteful and activities of humans. This be a very good thing.

The icing on this cake was The Nismo LEAF was ready to go.

And I going to keep it waiting.

was no air conditioning, so we kept the doors while awaiting our turn.

The was thrilling in the truest sense of the While acceleration was much than a stock LEAF due to the weight, I’m used to acceleration, and it doesn’t measure up probably a tad under 6 seconds still very decent for an 80 kW But when we got to the turns, Oh, momma, car could take anything!

I was permission to take another lap I was afraid to push it on the first. The lap was much faster, the car would take 90 degree turns at to 50 mph!

When I finished, my passenger, who had telling me exactly where to it and where to brake, told me to sides. He then proceeded to me through the same course at a higher speed. You are held in by straps that are essential cornering under such G-forces. This fellow drive!

We were almost through the turns! Apparently, he this car for a living. Some To date, this is the most fun ever had driving a car.


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