Nissan Showcases Technology Allowing Driver to ‘See the Invisible’

Nissan’s connected-car technology uses cloud-based virtualization and real-world sensor data to help drivers see invisible hazards on the road.
John Loeffler

The growth in connected car technology is a major theme at CES 2019 this year and Nissan demonstrated its own connected system this week with their Invisible-to-Visible technology concept demonstration.

What Does It Mean To See The Invisible?

Nissan’s newest driver assistance technology, Invisible-To-Visible—or I2V—, is Nissan’s visions of the future for driver assisted systems in their vehicles. Like Toyota’s Guardian system and other V2X systems, I2V is best described as extending the senses of the driver to alert them to conditions they cannot normally see.

I2V works by combining data pulled from the vehicles external and internal sensors and information about the vehicles surrounding pulled from the cloud to create a fuller picture of the vehicles surrounding than would otherwise be possible. This gives the driver the capability to see around corners or behind a tractor-trailer that they may not be able to see.

“By helping you see the invisible, I2V enhances your confidence and makes driving more enjoyable," said Tetsuro Ueda, from the Nissan Research Center. "The interactive features create an experience that's tailored to your interests and driving style so that anyone can enjoy using it in their own way." 

Connected Driving

Omni-Sensing technology serves as a real-time data hub for everything from the current traffic conditions and data from the sensors of the vehicles.

Nissan’s Seamless Autonomous Mobility, or SAM, takes this data and processes it, creating a 360-degree virtual map of the space around the vehicle, providing relevant information to the driver like intersection status, signage, visibility, and even pedestrian behavior in the vicinity of the connected vehicle.

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Nissan’s system isn’t just about safety, however. I2V also enables drivers and passengers to connect to people in the virtual world. Nissan’s technology allows friends, family, or others to connect with the occupants of a vehicle in the form of 3D, augmented-reality avatars to provide guidance or simply company on a long drive.

Autonomous Driving Support

For vehicles that have an autonomous driving capability, I2V can improve the passenger experience inside the vehicle as well.

If the area is unfamiliar to the driver, I2V can look within its network for guides familiar with the local area who can provide the necessary information about your surroundings.

Moreover, Omni-Sense can collect this data from local guides and add it to its database of knowledge in the cloud, enabling later visitors to have access to the same useful information.

Manual Driving Support

During Manual Drive Mode, I2V provides all relevant information as an overlay on the drivers' field of view. This provides important context about the environment to the driver, such as blind corners, traffic conditions, and navigation information.


I2V can even use the same avatar generation system to hire a personal driving instructor who will either appear as an avatar in the vehicle to give advice and instruction, or it can even appear as a chase car in the driver’s field of view, showing the driver the best way to drive on a given stretch of road.

Nissan’s Move Toward Vehicle Connectivity

Like other automakers, Nissan is moving to integrate all of their future automobiles into their I2V system. As 5G and other connectivity advances continue to advance, Nissan’s I2V should quickly become a reality in most, if not all, of their future models.

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