Meet SAM - NASA And Nissan's New Autonomous Vehicle
From LG's Signature OLED W7 to HTC Vive's wireless Virtual Reality announcement, CES 2017 was nothing short of a spectacle. But if anything at CES provided a peek into the future, it was Nissan teaming up with NASA to showcase their Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM).
From the Silicon Valley Campus at NASA, BC Live Productions provided a live multi-angle look at the car in action for CES goers. The idea was to answer the question: How does an autonomous vehicle handle obstacles in its path?
Utilizing the same technology as NASA's remote controlled robots in space, CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn explains the purpose of having a Mobility Manager. (A service allowing an Operator to manually take over when necessary.) The scenario was: there were roadblocks and obstructions in the vehicles path such as cones and a truck unloading a rover into the middle of the street. When the vehicle's sensors realize it is incapable of assessing a situation, the car stops, and the remote - cloud based technology kicks in.
The Mobility Manager in this case, is controlling the car from the Las Vegas show floor, and able to view the 3 cameras built in the car's body to assess the best course of action moving forward. The Manager can then "paint" the safest route for the vehicle, and once around the obstruction, the car will resume with its own driverless judgement.
A unique feature of this cloud system is its ability to share routes with other cars. This means, less Mobility Managers are needed, and less vehicles waiting around for an MM to assist them.
Although Nissan has a ways to go before this starts releasing to the public, the technology is astounding and opens the realm of possibility for automotive companies.