I love having an all-wheel-drive turbo stickshift, but due to a recent close call, I’ve completely changed the way I drive.
To explain, the roads where I live are all twisty country two-lanes. There’s never any traffic nor kids in the road. I rarely even see other cars. So I’ve been driving like I’m in a car commercial, accelerating madly through curves, pushing the grip coefficient while the engine sings. But two months ago I came around a corner and spotted a tan flash of fur moving perpendicular to my direction of travel.
There wasn’t time to do anything but slam on the brakes. I got my money’s worth out of the ABS, the car nosedived and the doe appeared directly in front of my hood, bounding from right to left. I missed her by inches, maybe millimeters. She was so close that I still can’t believe I didn’t hit her.
On a subsequent trip to the feed store, my wife was riding shotgun and pointed out no less than five car-killed deer at various points along the side of the road. I never notice these because my eyes are always on the asphalt. But I realized that if I hit anything here, it’s going to be a deer, and with my low-nosed car the impact would be bad. So I have slowed way the F down and now drive like an old man.
What I want is a drone that lives on my car’s roof when parked, then flies ahead when I’m driving and provides data projected in AR across my windshield. I want to see infrared outlines of all deer in a 100-foot radius, particularly around corners. Such a system of course does not exist, but I just learned that Nissan has been working on an “Invisible-to-Visible,” or I2V, safety system that could solve my problem:
I2V will support drivers by merging information from sensors outside and inside the vehicle with data from the cloud. This enables the system not only to track the vehicle’s immediate surroundings but also to anticipate what’s ahead – even showing what’s behind a building or around the corner. To make driving more enjoyable, guidance is given in an interactive, human-like way, such as through avatars that appear inside the car.
I’m pro-sensor, but not sold on the “avatars that appear inside the car” bit. Nissan being based in Japan, I wonder how kooky they’d get with it; I imagine I’d see a projection of a man with a deer’s head sitting in my passenger seat going “Slow down–dude DUDE DUDE” and stomping on an imaginary brake pedal.