This one is for the bees! Seriously though, bees (more specifically, bumblebees) are indeed the subject of this article. You see, Nissan is studying these insects in an effort to develop collision avoidance systems which will find their way onto production vehicles within the next 10 years.
Co-developed with the Center for Advanced Science and Technology at Japan’s prestigious Tokyo University, Nissan has built the Bio-mimetic Car Robot Drive, or BR23C, a robotic microcar, in an effort to re-create bee characteristics with the end goal of producing a system that prevents collisions altogether. Nissan unveiled this futuristic technology at the Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC 2008) in Japan this week.
"The split second it detects an obstacle, the car robot will mimic the movements of a bee and instantly change direction by turning its wheels at right angles or greater to avoid a collision. The biggest difference from any current system is that the avoidance maneuver is totally instinctive. If that was not so, then the car robot would not be able to react fast enough to avoid obstacles," explained Yukishi Sakai, senior manager in the technology development division.
Nissan hopes to employ this technology and later become the industry leader in safety, much like Volvo has been for the past couple of decades. With this sort of technology available to the mass public within the span of a few years, we might see the classic fender-bender become a part of our past.
Thanks to this little guy, and Nissan researchers, car accidents might be a thing of the past.