Japan’s Nissan Motor has developed a golf ball that will help you make a putt with your eyes closed.
As a proof of concept, the car maker unveiled a video on Tuesday whereby a toddler taps a ball with his club and makes a putt that would make Tiger Woods’ jaw drop.
To make the idea work, Nissan placed an overhead camera to detect the position of the ball and cup. When the ball moves, a monitoring system calculates the correct route and adjusts its trajectory. Coupled with an internal electric motor, the golf ball stays on course until dropping into the cup, according to the car maker.
The technology is part of Nissan’s upgraded ProPilot driver assistance system, which will debut in the new Nissan Skyline next month in Japan. Nissan has marketed its autonomous-driving technologies previously by showing self-moving chairs and self-parking slippers.
Nissan’s latest tech development comes as the car maker and others such as Toyota and Volkswagen face an uncertain future as new technologies and business models ripple through the $2.23 trillion (Dh8.18tn) global auto industry.
Almost every time Akio Toyoda, chief executive and grandson of Toyota’s founder, appears in public, he expounds on the shift to mobility services. From batteries and self-driving vehicles to lunar rovers and ride-hailing companies, the world’s second-biggest car maker is pouring more than $3bn into deals and partnerships in recent years to stay ahead of competition.
Last week the company said it will provide 3,700 vehicles, including dozens of self-driving cars, about 500 fuel-cell vehicles and 850 battery-electric cars to the Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. More than a dozen autonomous driving vehicles, which Toyota calls e-Palette, will run on a continuous loop within the Olympic and Paralympic Village to shuttle athletes and staff. Another artificial intelligence technology-enabled, autonomous-driving vehicle, known as Concept-i, will travel alongside torch relay runners, according to Ito.
“We want to use the Olympics and Paralympics that happen every two years as a milestone,” Masaaki Ito, general manager of Toyota’s Olympic and Paralympic Division, said in an interview. “2020 will be a good time to show our transformation into a mobility company.”
Toyota is also deploying various robots. In addition to a javelin-collecting robot, the manufacturer will have a humanoid robot, a robot to assist disabled spectators, and a telepresence robot that lets people talk with and see each other.
It is also helping Tokyo’s government make traffic smoother, by deploying technologies used to manage logistics and fleets. All of this will be done while achieving the lowest emissions target level of any official fleet used at the Olympics, the car maker said.