Toward broadly affordable driverless vehicles
Intelligent driving system
To operate in driverless mode, NEXT TWO uses Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, set for launch starting in 2014.
Driverless operation is based on a system that monitors and analyzes the vehicle’s environment using the following:
• A radar fitted in the front bumper and a camera on the central rearview mirror.
The radar detects the vehicle in front and calculates its speed. The camera is used to correctly position the vehicle in its lane. The system also features an ultrasound belt wrapping around the vehicle.
• These monitoring systems are coordinated by a control unit that, much like an orchestra conductor, communicates with the powertrain components and guards against contradictory instructions.
Environments compatible with driverless vehicles
Obviously, driverless operation goes hand in hand with your complete safety. Consequently, the function can only be activated in two precise conditions with optimum safety conditions.
- In traffic jams on highways
To switch to driverless mode, NEXT TWO has to be on a “protected” road, i.e. a highway with no pedestrians or cyclists, in slow or jammed traffic not exceeding 30 km/h, and with no lane changing. Driverless operation is available for periods of over five minutes.
- In parking lots adapted to driverless vehicles
NEXT TWO can park itself with no driver input and can even pick up drivers using an automatic valet function.
In driverless mode, dialogue between driver and car is via a Head-Middle Display (HMD), a translucent screen on the upper part of the dashboard that colors blue when driverless mode is activated.
Free time for hyper-connected activities
Driverless operation on NEXT TWO frees up time for the driver, who can take full advantage of the car’s high-speed connectivity system.
- Equipped with a multi-standard modem, NEXT TWO can switch instantly from one network to another, bringing motorists continuous and low-priced connectivity.
- The prototype is fitted with an open-source multimedia platform compatible with all operating systems.
- At the wheel, users are able to access all the connected services available in the Cloud.
- NEXT TWO also features a videoconference function, as well as a virtual office equipped with the same apps as at home or at the office, so drivers can download videos, listen to music, send emails, and much more.
Carlos Ghosn test-drives Next Two here