Google may have another competitor hot on their heels for the title of leader in self-driving cars. At CEATEC, Nissan showed off a modified version of its Leaf called the NSC-2015. It has new self-parking technology built-in. This new technology works with a smartphone, and Nissan showed it off with a Samsung Galaxy S III.
According to Toru Futami of Nissan's IT & ITS Development Department, "With 90 percent of accidents caused by human error, we aimed to make a machine that could reduce error to as close to zero as possible." While a car that parks itself may not do much to prevent accidents, it is surely a step in the right direction. Searching for an empty parking space and returning via a user-issued command on a smartphone is certainly nice, and could lead to greater advancements down the line.
Another emphasis of this invention was saving time. Futami went on to say that parking causes "about ten minutes lost door to door." It is like having a personal valet parking attendant in the palm of your hands.
The NSC-2015 also has an all around view camera that can be used to prevent theft. If the car detects suspicious activity, it will alert the owner on their smartphone and let them see what is happening. If the owner of the vehicle chooses, they can set off an alarm remotely. As the name implies, this vehicle should be ready to go by 2015.