Nissan’s big plans to integrate autonomous tech in its models could culminate with self-driving high-performance automobiles.
The car maker just announced its scheme to launch 10 autonomous models by 2020, and it’s most likely that the Nippon company won’t stop there – as the tech will evolve and will be more and more widespread, it could be used to aid enthusiastic drivers in, well, driving hard on the track. In fact, speaking with Top Gear about the matter of self-driving automobiles, Richard Candler, Nissan’s head of Advanced Product Strategy, didn’t shied away at the idea of a self-driving GT-R.
“One of the things I like to think about is turning up to the Nürburgring in your GT-R, and being able to select one of the famous laps and the car just taking over.”
Mind you, this kind of computer-controlled driving isn’t your regular lane changing, self-braking system, but a proper intelligent simulation, which could pace you through a given lap on a given track.
“The latest Nismo did 7m08s with Michael Krumm at the wheel", said Candler. "You could just select the Michael Krumm setting, press go and before you know it, you’re launched round the track. Something that most people could never achieve suddenly becomes very accessible.”
This is not the first time a Nissan official comments on this, as the Global Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering, Takao Asami, suggested that some of Nissan’s performance models could be included in the future autonomous line up.
Worries that this kind of technology will kill off any driving pleasure were dismissed by Candler, who was adamant that it is aimed to offer an interactive approach to driving and, in any case, the driver will be able to take control at all times: "We’re not trying to make conveyor belts that take you from one place to another: the driver will choose when they want to take the system and when they don’t. All of our systems have been built with the driver in mind, and with the driver always in control."
Note: Nissan Vision GT 2020 pictured