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Think electric cars are getting a bit too clever? Probably best not to pop over to Nissan’s Oppama production plant in Japan anytime soon, then. Because in a scene that looks like it’s fresh from the creator of Babylon 5‘s futuristic imagination, the firm has now found an ingenious way to cart its newly-created Leafs around the massive site: by teaching another Leaf with a massive trailer to drive itself from A to B. Yikes.
While autonomous robots have been seen whizzing around the incredibly high-tech spaces that are car manufacturing plants before, they mostly rely on rails or magnetic tape to know where they’re going. Not this specially-modified Leaf, however. This bad boy uses an array of cameras and sensors to make its own decisions while pulling a stack of its young in tow.
Now, what could Nissan possibly want to push this autonomous technology for, we wonder…? You’ve got it: this is a cleverly marketed display of the firm’s interest in self-driving capabilities. Using its Intelligent Mobility Vision system, Nissan’s foray into how cars will be driven, powered, and integrated into society, the project utilises mapping and communication tech to link an intelligent and all-electric car to infrastructure, what the firm itself describes as “a step towards the realisation of Nissan Intelligent Integration.”
Tests have been carried out on this clever little Leaf and its trailer system over the last 12 months at the plant, with over 1600 test runs meaning the firm is about to put its findings into practice. Let’s just hope the little EV doesn’t develop too much of a personality and attempt to make a break to it, freeing his younger siblings in the process…