Let me clarify: There’s a problem with one of the safety systems in lots of new Nissans, including Sentras, Altimas, Muranos, and Pathfinders, and in lots of cars on the road today from other major brands, and it underscores a basic problem with modern mobility: As cars increasingly rely upon technologies such as radar, lidar, and cameras, the limitations of those existing systems is becoming increasingly obvious.
“Automotive radar systems are shortsighted,” the trade magazine Microwaves & RF wrote recently.
“They lack the resolution to distinguish objects close to the vehicle, while discarded soda cans and other metallic objects can cause false alarms that increase the risk of accidents.
We’re talking specifically about the front collision warning system in the 2018 Sentra, and the array of driver assist features that protect the driver; Nissan calls it a Safety Shield, and said in May that six models — roughly 1,000,000 Nissans in total — will include Automatic Emergency Braking as a standard feature.
Other eyes for today’s vehicles, including video cameras and lidar, carry their own issues.
And experts are divided on whether it’s good enough for the precision demands of cars.