Nissan’s Self Driving Tech Can Help You...... Golf Like a Pro?
It won’t, but it’d still be nice to dream, right?by Kirby Garlitos, on
As if self-moving chairs and self-parking slippers aren’t enough, Nissan is now showcasing its autonomous driving technologies through golf balls. Yes, golf balls. This is the Nissan ProPilot golf ball, and it’s going to make you a better golfer because of a monitoring system that calculates the correct route it must take to drop into the cup. You can putt anywhere, even with your eyes closed, and the ball will find the hole. Fortunately, you can’t use the ProPilot in actual competition because that’d be cheating. The ProPilot golf ball is simply Nissan’s latest proof of concept that’s meant to showcase its upgraded ProPilot driver assistance system that will début in the new Nissan Skyline next month in Japan. And here you thought you could be the next Tiger Woods? You’ll still need a lot of practice to get to that level.
Nissan sure has a funny way of showcasing the advancements it has made in autonomous driving technology. Whether it’s through chairs, slippers, or, in this case, golf balls, Nissan makes it a point to inject a little humor in these things. We’ll play along and explain how these never-miss golf balls actually work. They’re not AI golf balls if that’s what you’re thinking. They’re embedded with two things: a monitoring system and an internal electric motor.
The monitoring system is responsible for calculating the correct route the ball needs to take to drop into the cup.
For its part, the electric motor ensures that it stays on course until the ball drops. All this is made possible by an overhead camera — yes, there are overhead cameras — that detect the position of the ball relative to the cup.
It all sounds like next-level technology because it is next-level technology. Just don’t get too far ahead and think that your golf handicaps will drop to single digits because of these balls. The ProPilot golf balls are avatars to the actual technology that Nissan is releasing to coincide with the launch of the all-new Skyline in Japan.
The ProPilot 2.0 driver assistance system is the real star of this amusing campaign.
It’s been developed by Nissan to engage with a vehicle’s navigation system to help maneuver the vehicle according to a predefined route on designated highways. For now, it’s specifically designed for ramp-to-ramp highway driving, and it’s activated when you follow a series of steps, beginning with setting the destination in the navigation system to create a predefined travel route. Once the route to your destination is identified, ProPilot 2.0 can assist drivers through several means, including passing, lane diversions, and lane on multiple-lane highways. While you should remain attentive on the road ahead, ProPilot 2.0 can take the reigns from you in a manner that’s not too different from Tesla’s Autopilot system.
ProPilot 2.0 is Nissan’s latest advancement in autonomous driving technology. At the very least, it’s comforting to know that all the research and development it has poured into getting to this point is finally paying off. That said, I’m still waiting for those self-parking slippers. I don’t have much concern for the ProPilot golf balls or the moving chairs, but those self-parking slippers? Thos are already in my Christmas wish list.