Nissan's New Safety System Uses Bee Logic

Lasers will mimic compound eyes to detect, avoid obstacles
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 3:10 PM CDT
A car-shaped white light is lit up on a monitor to alert possible collision as Nissan Motor Co.'s Distance Control Assist System is shown.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Nissan is set to unveil new collision-avoidance technology modeled on the behavior of bees, PC World reports, with a small robot car to demonstrate the system in Japan next week. The automakers’ engineers have developed laser range-finders that mimic the insects’ ability to adjust their path and avoid collisions by utilizing their 300-degree field of vision.

Nissan’s system can only scan through 180 degrees, and cars travel on only one plane, and must stay on the road, limiting the range of possible safe evasive action. The system is part of Nissan’s safety project, which aims to reduce by half fatalities and grave injuries in the company’s vehicles by 2015.