For many, playing golf is a way to relax and challenge yourself but now, it’s being used for something a little off the beaten track. In an effort to show off the latest autonomous driving technology, the Nissan ProPilot 2.0 has been applied to a golf ball in a fun demonstration. Their latest driving assist technology helps the ball find the cup every time no matter what.
Perfect Shot Every Time
In a recently released video clip, a young boy shows how easy golf can be with a little help from Nissan ProPilot 2.0. On a beautiful putting green, he hits the ball way off course but the ProPilot 2.0 technology helps it find the hole by taking a sharp left turn.
The process requires an external camera linked to special software to locate the position of the hole and the ball. From there, an algorithm controls a small motor inside the ball and operates according to how the ball is struck.
As the four-year-old demonstrates in the video, no matter where you are or how you hit the ball, it will automatically take control of its own course and find the hole. Isn’t this an exciting time to witness such incredible technology? What will they think of next?
Nissan ProPilot 2.0 versus Sphero
Fact is, it is not the first time we have seen a golf ball find the hole by itself. If we go back a few years, an American company, Sphero, developed a similar high-tech moving ball. With the Sphero, however, a person actually controls the ball’s movement using a smartphone while the Japanese automaker uses their latest self-driving technology, the Nissan ProPilot 2.0.
The ball simply needs to be instructed to go into the hole where the external camera locates its position on the green. It calculates a route to the hole which is constantly updated and uploaded to the ball wirelessly. All it needs to do now is roll along and drive itself to the uploaded directions to reach the final destination.
Nissan Leaps Ahead In Automation
The introduction of Nissan’s new ProPilot driver-assist system in Japan marks a giant leap forward in automation. Looking at the current version, the ProPilot Assist, it’s basically adaptive cruise control with a lane-centring feature. While it keeps the car in the centre of a highway land and a safe distance from cars in front, the driver still has to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.
Now, Nissan claims that their new system, ProPilot 2.0, allows for “hands-off” driving on highways. It features a degree of hands-off driving, lane changing and guidance to the desired highway turn off. The Nissan ProPilot 2.0 uses the technologies you’d come to expect including cameras, sonar, radar, GPS, and 3D map data.
Just as with any new autonomous driving tech, Nissan insists that drivers remain alert at all times even when using the ProPilot 2.0 technology and for optimum safety, be ready to take over control at any given time. So don’t take a nap while driving on the highway as the technology is certainly cutting edge but we are not there yet.
While the self-driving golf ball is impressive, Nissan is not making it for the sports industry. It was used as a fun marketing effort to highlight the forward-thinking technology behind ProPilot 2.0. This new self-driving system will launch soon in Japan with the Nissan Skyline but nothing has yet been confirmed for the South African market.
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