Believe it or not, vehicle designers can learn a lot from fish, which have the impressive ability to glide around obstacles, all while staying in a tightly controlled pack. If cars were able to do the same thing, traffic jams and fender benders might be virtually eliminated. That’s why Nissan built the fish-inspired EPORO, a robotic vehicle that communicates with other cars to avoid collision. Although we wish that there were more sustainable features, we do want to point out that the new technology centered on biomimicry also encourages better fuel efficiency since hard breaking may be avoided.
Nissan kept three rules of fish behavior in mind when designing the concept car: collision avoidance (the ability to change directions without colliding with other fish), traveling side by side, and approaching (i.e. not crashing into the fish directly ahead). These rules produced a shape-shifting vehicle that, according to Nissan, is the first robotic car that can travel in a group sans collisions by sharing information on position and location with surrounding EPOROs.
The bug-eyed EPORO concept probably won’t hit city streets in its current form, but Nissan hopes to use the technology in future vehicles to improve safety and cut down on traffic jams. Want to check out EPORO in person? The car is on display now at CEATEC-Japan.