The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) begins today. The tech show that’s annually held in Las Vegas has seen an increasing number of car manufacturers displaying and showing off their latest vehicle technologies. As cars become one step closer to being smartphones on wheels, Nissan pushes the boundary one step further by unveiling a technology that lets drivers “see the invisible.”
Called Invisible-to-Visible, or I2V, is a future technology created through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. I2V will demonstrate the future of driving to CES visitors through an interactive, three-dimensional immersion experience at Nissan’s display.
By helping you see the invisible, I2V enhances your confidence and makes driving more enjoyable,” said Tetsuro Ueda, an expert leader at the Nissan Research Center. “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.”
The technology combines information gathered from sensors placed around and inside the vehicle, as well as data stored in the cloud. This enables the system not only to track the vehicle’s immediate surroundings but also to anticipate what’s ahead – even showing what’s behind a building or around the corner. To make driving more enjoyable, guidance is given in an interactive, human-like way, such as through avatars that appear inside the car through three-dimensional augmented reality.
I2V is also able to provide information as an overlay in the driver’s full field of view. The information helps drivers assess and prepare for things like corners with poor visibility, pedestrians, irregular road surface conditions or oncoming traffic. Additionally, I2V can display information about congestion and estimated travel time, as well as show unique details to better inform the driver about the road ahead, removing unknowns to ease driving stress. I2V will give alternative suggestions, even down to the best-moving lane in heavy traffic, by using real-time local data mapping via Omni-Sensing.
Nissan’s Omni-Sensing technology acts as a hub gathering real-time data from the traffic environment and from the vehicle’s surroundings and interior. Meanwhile, Nissan’s SAM (Seamless Autonomous Mobility) technology analyzes the road environment through relevant real-time information, and the ProPILOT semi-autonomous driver support system provides information about the car’s surroundings.
The technology 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.
I2V also introduces a Metaverse. The Metaverse is a virtual world that goes beyond the usual driver assistance. Through three-dimensional augmented reality, driving is made more comfortable during various situations, such as the capability of having friends, family, or others appear inside the vehicle.
As cars become increasingly autonomous in the coming years, drivers will have more freedom to do the things that matter in their life, or make virtual changes to alter their physical world. For instance, drivers will soon have the ability to change the foggy scenery during an autonomous driving situation, to a more pleasant and safer sunny weather, albeit a virtual one.
When visiting a new place, the system can search within the Metaverse for a knowledgeable local guide who can communicate with people in the vehicle in real time. Information provided by the guide can be collected with Omni-Sensing and stored in the cloud so that others visiting the same area can access the useful guidance. It can also be used by the onboard artificial intelligence system to provide a more efficient drive through local areas.
Drivers will also have the ability to book a professional driver from the Metaverse to get personal instruction in real time. The professional driver appears as a projected avatar or as a virtual chase car in the driver’s field of vision to demonstrate the best way to drive to the destination. Once there, I2V can access SAM to scan for parking spaces and park the car autonomously for the driver.