Nissan Reveals Plan To Connect Cars To Everything

Industry News / Comments

A giant swarm of connected devices can see everything you can't.

Nissan North America's Research and Advanced Engineering and Verizon have been working on the next generation of pedestrian and vehicle detection. The new technology focuses specifically on pedestrians and vehicles emerging from a visual blind spot.

Nissan and Verizon recently completed the first proof of concept, and the technology is quite simple but could be highly effective. Its most redeeming feature is that it essentially uses existing infrastructure, like Verizon's wireless network, vehicle sensors, and sensors from smartphones. In short, it's cellular vehicle-to-everything communication.

Honda recently introduced something similar called Safe Swarm, also in partnership with Verizon. The idea is that the car communicates with buildings, restaurants, fuel stations, and the city's traffic system. The navigation system will then automatically reroute, while the autonomous driving will stick to a speed that will ensure you hit green lights all the way home. Audi also recently introduced a similar concept called Audi Traffic Light Information. It's available on most of its range, including the e-tron.


The Nissan Verizon system is slightly more complex, as it notifies the driver of pedestrians and other traffic they can't see. Imagine a jogger running into an intersection or an oncoming vehicle hidden behind another car at a left turn.

"Communication between vehicles and the environment around them, or C-V2X, will be one of the most important transportation innovations of the connected and autonomous future of driving," said TJ Fox, Senior Vice President of Industrial IoT and Automotive, Verizon Business. "This proof of concept shows that edge computing with Verizon's cellular network can help take the resource-intensive compute burden off vehicles and public infrastructure - housing their software platforms and crunching their sensor data for them - and can communicate data outward to prompt potentially lifesaving safety alerts or autonomous driving features in the car, all essentially in real-time."

In addition to ensuring accidents don't happen, Verizon has also partnered with Stellantis to make life easier for first responders.

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"Making breakthroughs in products and technologies is a core piece of Nissan's business," said Maarten Sierhuis, vice president, Nissan Technical Center North America. "The successful development and pilot of this research technology reinforces our commitment to helping keep drivers and passengers safe and the future of mobility."

Now that Nissan and Verizon have proof that the concept works, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will begin the process of validating the technology for its Automated Driving Systems Project. This, in turn, is part of the county's Innovate 680 project, a collection of six different projects aimed at reducing congestion, travel days, and operational challenges.

"CCTA is excited to be collaborating with Verizon and Nissan to test technology that addresses real transportation needs - delivering mobility choices to transportation-challenged and underserved communities - while preparing our county for the future of mobility," said Timothy Haile, Executive Director for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

Nissan did not say when the tech would make its debut in passenger cars, but a next-generation EV like the Ariya makes the most sense.

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