Nissan sleeps with the fishes? Well, no... not exactly. But we'd guess someone in Nissan's Japanese think tank must watch a little too much Discovery Channel. We've all seen those amazing videos where unspeakably large schools of fish travel huge distances without anyone or anything to guide them. Somehow, it's all very organized and the fish don't seem to have any problems with traffic jams – which is more than we can say for us bipedal earth-goers. Apparently, Nissan has noticed the same thing.
Using two laser range finders mounted so that it has a 288-degree field of vision, Nissan's new Eporo robot cars can travel along at speeds of 1.4 km/h (less than one mile per hour), constantly changing direction as needed to maintain a safe distance from one another. The Japanese automaker suggests that such "Safety Shield" technology could eventually be applied to cars and trucks to help prevent accidents and traffic jams.
In addition to the obvious benefits of reduced roadway congestion and travel times, Nissan also points to the reduction in fuel usage, pollution and carbon emissions as potential results of its efforts. The new technology will be shown off at the CREATEC event next week in Japan. Click past the break for the press release.