Nissan tests its new Leaf-based autonomous car on streets of Japan.

Back in Tokyo, Nissan announced its ITS Concept, which is a futuristic concept car with a whopping 500 km of range on the Japanese testing system and advanced autopilot controls. Sounds great if it were on the market today, but futuristic concepts are akin to whiteboards for manufacturers, throwing all their breakthrough ideas onto the floor and seeing which ones stick when they apply them to a physical car. Now Nissan has begun testing its Leaf-based autonomous car on Japanese inner city roads and highways.

Nissan wants to put its Intelligent Driving System to test, which can take control of the car in certain conditions. The Pilot mode's first version, which Nissan wants to add to production models by the end of 2016, enables a car to drive autonomously in heavy traffic on the highway. The company hopes to roll out the ability to change lanes by 2018, as well as the power to navigate city roads and intersections without human input by 2020.

Nissan has established the autonomous car with laser scanners, computer chips, cameras and radar technologies to easen driving on busy urban roads, the Japanese corporation created a high-spec laser scanner that uses 3D measurement to determine the vehicle's distance from objects in the environment. It designed an eight-way camera with a 360-degree view of its surroundings to help the system make decision when crossing intersections, as well.

Besides the new leaf--based autonomous car, Nissan also recently unveiled its IDS concept vehicle, an EV loaded with the same functionalities accept its made to offer restaurant recommendations.

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