On December 5, Nissan unveiled the driverless transport system it uses for complete cars at its Oihara plant in Yokohama to members of the press.
Nissan says the system, which is called Intelligent Vehicle Towing, uses a Leaf-based car with automatic technology to tow up to 3 fully finished vehicles from the plant to the docks 1.4km away.
Interestingly, the driverless transport system technology Nissan uses to transport cars inside its plant makes the first practical use of an old technology, the HICAS system. HICAS is an electronic control 4-wheel steering system that was used for the 7th generation Skyline in 1985.
There is a reason why HICAS, which was never used for a mass market model, was brought back. The original route used within the plant had difficult curves to maneuver in certain places. With the Intelligent Vehicle Towing system only, it was impossible for the driverless car towing 3 other cars to go outside the lane, so it couldn’t maneuver through difficult curves.
The HICAS system is designed to track the unmanned towing car so that it doesn’t go outside the lane through getting rid of each of the three cars’ turning radius difference so that it can pass through even difficult curves.
(Translated by Greg Scott)