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Autonomous Tech Is Changing How We Drive – and How Cars Are Designed

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2020 Nissan Skyline
The New Nissan Skyline
Photo: Nissan

Now that the 2020 model year is getting ready to launch, automakers are looking up the road to 2021 models and beyond. According to Nissan, that means re-examining its design language and how it interacts with self-driving car technology.

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Some of the most recent generations of Nissan vehicles, like the Nissan Maxima and Murano, reflect a style that’s all about dramatic shapes and sharp lines. However, Nissan’s new ProPilot 2.0 system doesn’t seem to play nice with the designer’s ideas.

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s head of design, told Automotive News Europe that its latest release, a refresh of the iconic Nissan Skyline, needed a smother and longer front fascia than anticipated.

“What happens with a lot of these sensors is they don’t like creases, and they don’t like undercuts, because it defracts their wavelengths.” he said said.

“You’ll find that on a lot of the cars coming, probably on all brands, to be honest. It prefers clean surfaces so the sensors and the lidar and everything can send out very clean waves.”

It’s a bit of a bummer that cars might need to look more like the models we left behind in the 90s and early 2000s for self-driving sensors to work. However, the new technology might be worth the loss of style. Nissan reports that its new Skyline, the first to use ProPilot 2.0, will allow for hands-free highway driving. It won’t just stay in one lane and get stuck behind a slow car, either, as the sensors we sacrificed for can help the car navigate itself.

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The Nissan Skyline isn’t coming to the US (but you might be able to find a version of it at an Infiniti dealership wearing a Q50 badge). However, Nissans with smoother noses might be coming to you soon alongside the technology we’re all waiting for.

News Source: Automotive News Europe (subscription required)