Nissan shows off self-driving clout with a robot that draws up soccer pitches
Nissan's Propilot technology is at the heart of its self-driving efforts, but for its latest demonstration it is working on a much smaller scale. Over the weekend, the company unveiled a roving robot that uses the autonomous driving technology to draw up different soccer pitches to exact dimensions, whether that be for five-a-side pickup games or larger fields for professionals to ply their trade.
Revealed at the 2018 UEFA Champion's League final in the Ukraine on Saturday, Nissan's Pitch-R robot uses a set of four-cameras, GPS and obstacle avoidance systems to scan its surroundings and find a suitable place for a pitch. It then draws up the lines with dissolvable white paint in as little as 20 minutes.
This is just the latest oddball creation Nissan has packed its ProPilot tech into as an effort to market its autonomous driving technology. Other examples include self-parking slippers, a queue-busting chair and self-assembling office furniture.
On the more serious side of things, ProPilot technology also features in a semi-autonomous form in the electric Leaf, the Nissan Serena and the Nissan Rogue, its best-selling vehicle. In its current form, it combines assisted steering, braking and accelerating for a smarter kind of cruise control that incorporates lane-sensing to keep the car between the lines.
The next-gen ProPilot Assist is the latest incarnation of the technology, and Nissan had sold more than 75,000 vehicles equipped with it as of January this year. It has previously said it hopes to produce a series production full autonomous vehicle by 2020.