Nissan Avatars to Let Drivers ‘See’ the Invisible

Nissan’s virtual reality technology claims to help drivers ‘see’ objects that should be invisible to them.

At CES 2019, the carmaker will demonstrate its invisible-to-visible (I2V) system, just to throw another acronym curve ball into auto tech’s increasingly confused dictionary, which it says blends actual vision with virtual images to create a new connected-car experience. The technology has been created through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.

It works by merging information from sensors outside and inside the vehicle with data from the cloud. This claims to be able to track the vehicle’s immediate surroundings and also to anticipate hazards ahead including those behind a building or around the corner. Guidance is given through avatars that appear inside the car.

The technology analyzes the road environment through relevant real-time information while the car’s ProPILOT semi-autonomous driver support system provides information about the car’s surroundings. It maps a 360-degree virtual space around the car to provide information about things like road and intersection status, visibility, signage or nearby pedestrians. It can also monitor the people inside the vehicle by using interior sensors to better anticipate when they may need assistance with finding something or a coffee break to stay alert.

Tetsuro Ueda, from the Nissan Research Center, said: “By helping you see the invisible, I2V enhances your confidence and makes driving more enjoyable. The interactive features create an experience that’s tailored to your interests and driving style so that anyone can enjoy using it in their own way.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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