Mr. Nissan Goes To Washington
Nissan is all about autonomous cars these days. Its vehicles are testing in Japan, Europe, and here in the United States to become better partners for their drivers and, ultimately, allow passengers to multitask while on the road. If you are a government regulator in Washington D.C., all of that sounds pretty scary, especially considering how many laws there are against being on your cell phone in the car or engaging in other distractions what would become common with self-driving cars. To help ease the transition into popular self-driving cars, Nissan decided to go to the nation’s capital to explain how everything works, at least for its brand.
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Andy Christensen, senior manager, Nissan Technical Center North America in Michigan, lead the presentation for members of the House of Representatives and Senate, representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. In the meeting, Nissan outlined its four stages of autonomous drive and explained that it is not looking to remove the driver from their seat, but rather to enhance the experience behind the wheel. No one will be able to switch on autonomous driving overnight and let cars start navigating on their own. Nissan’s approach, like that of many manufacturers, is adding self-driving car technology to today’s vehicles as safety features to help perfect them for when it will be appropriate to let the car make its own decisions. Technology that fits this bill includes lane keep assist systems and options that will parallel park a vehicle on its own.
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Nissan hopes that this meeting and presentation helps lawmakers understand what the future will look like and what they can do to prepare for it as painlessly as possible.