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Connected car tech helps drivers see the invisible

Nissan will demonstrate the future of driving at CES 2019 through an interactive 3D immersion experience

Nissan merges real and virtual worlds. Digital character copyright Unity Technologies Japan/UCL
Nissan merges real and virtual worlds. Digital character copyright Unity Technologies Japan/UCL

Nissan has developed a technology that helps drivers to see the invisible by merging both real and virtual worlds.


The technology has been developed as part of its Intelligent Mobility vision and will be demonstrated at the CES 2019 electronics trade show in Las Vegas, which runs from 8-11 January. Users will be guided through scenarios including a tour of a city, receiving help to find an open parking space at a busy mall and seeing a rainy day outside change to a sunny day inside the car.


Anticipating what’s ahead


Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology will support drivers by merging information from sensors outside and inside the vehicle with data from 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.


“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 Centre. “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.”


I2V is powered by Nissan’s Omni-Sensing technology, which acts as a hub gathering real-time data from the traffic environment and from the vehicle’s surroundings and interior. Nissan’s seamless autonomous mobility (SAM) technology analyses the road environment through relevant real-time information, and the ProPILOT semi-autonomous driver support system provides information about the car’s surroundings.

“By helping you see the invisible, I2V enhances your confidence and makes driving more enjoyable”

The technology maps a 360-degree virtual space around the car to provide information about things like road and intersection status, congestion, estimated travel time, 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 can also connect drivers and passengers to people in the Metaverse virtual world. This makes it possible for family, friends or others to appear inside the car as three-dimensional, augmented-reality avatars to provide company or assistance.


Support during autonomous or manual driving

During autonomous driving, I2V can make the time spent in a car more comfortable and enjoyable. For example, when driving in the rain, the scenery of a sunny day can be projected inside the vehicle. 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.


During manual driving, I2V provides information from Omni-Sensing 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, irregular road surface conditions or oncoming traffic.


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