Nissan has pledged to sell a fully autonomous car by 2020. This Leaf prototype readily shows how close the automaker is getting to its goal.
Without those splashy graphics, you might not realize you're looking at anything other than an ordinary Nissan Leaf.
Note the production-look rear lidar sensor (laser and radar technology used to measure distances) centered at the bottom of the rear bumper cap.
Hands cupped a few inches from the steering wheel is the preferred way to drive this prototype autonomous car, but bona fide hands-free operation is coming.
This is the view from the driver's seat.
Cameras are discreetly mounted in the Leaf's roof rails.
Nissan has begun testing its Piloted Drive 1.0 in Tokyo traffic, and I was among its first passengers.
Note the forward-scanning sensors mounted at the top of the windshield above the rearview mirror.
This prototype in-cluster display highlights items the car is paying attention to, including other vehicles, traffic signs and so on.
This prototype screen is a few inches larger than the screen in the current-generation Leaf.
This trunk full of wires and processors is the brain of the Leaf's autonomous operations. It'll have to be greatly miniaturized for production.
Tetsuya Iijima, Nissan's general manager of advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous engineering, behind the wheel of his baby.
Iijima has been working on advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous car technology at Nissan for nearly 20 years.
Note the well-integrated sensors in the lower quadrant of the front doors.
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