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Nissan seeks autonomous vehicle patents in India

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It will help car sense road conditions as well as navigation

Japanese carmaker Nissan has sought about five patents (three of them filed in May 2017) on technologies relating to autonomous vehicles.

As per the abstract of the filings with the Indian patent office, the technologies will help car sense road conditions as well as navigation and help the car overcome obstructions and sensing vehicles ahead.

Last year, Nissan unveiled 2017 Serena minivan featuring technology that enables semi-autonomous highway driving. The so called Nissan ProPilot system provides self-driving at speeds suited for Japanese roads. Nissan said the system provides one-lane highway driving for the Serena minivan, however it cannot change lanes or routes autonomously. The firm said it is working towards switching lanes option.

“The timing of introduction of advanced technologies in our products will depend on specific situation in the market, driving patterns, readiness of road infrastructure, customers and governments’ acceptability. There is no other information we may provide at this moment,” a Nissan spokesperson said in an e-mail response.

Rapid growth

According to intellectual property research firm Innomantra Consulting Private Ltd., the number of patent applications towards autonomous vehicle technology has been growing rapidly across the globe. The number of patent publications has grown to nearly 60 in 2017 from 20 in 2013.

“During the course of our quick research, it was interesting to note that there are a good number of patents owned/filed by individual inventors as well as by organizations that owns, provides, assigns, and grants licenses to businesses,” Lokesh V, Manging Director of Innomantra Consulting said.

Nissan’s rivals Toyota, Ford have also been active in patents for autonomous driving technology. Technology giants Amazon and Alphabet are also been filing patents on driverless technology, according to data from Innomantra.

“Interestingly, Tesla Motors, which is arguably at the forefront of innovation in the assisted/self-driving space does not seem to have filed for patent applications in India in this technology space. It may be worthwhile to note that Tesla in 2014 had made an announcement that it is not too keen on enforcing its patents,” Kartik Puttaiah, InvnTree IP Services said.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:05:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/nissan-seeks-autonomous-vehicle-patents-in-india/article19095040.ece

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