Nissan has made a self-putting golf ball. Yes, really.
They call it the ProPILOT golf ball. Inspired by Nissan’s upcoming ProPILOT 2.0 driver assistance system, which will debut on the new Nissan Skyline next month, it uses a series of external sensors, cameras, an internal navigation system, and a small electric motor to guide itself to the hole. Every. Single. Time.
"Similar to the Skyline's ProPILOT 2.0 advanced technology, the ProPILOT golf ball supports golfers by following a predefined route to its goal,” writes Nissan in their press release. “Players can feel confident that they will reach their target effortlessly on each putt."
Inside each ball is a circuit board containing navigation data and an electric motor. An external camera system feeds the ball positioning and allows the electric motor to self-correct its path while en-route. Even a shot hit nowhere near the flag will eventually find its way to the cup, as the below video shows.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Nissan has used its ProPILOT technology for slightly frivolous purposes. They’ve also made a self-parking chair (called the ProPILOT Chair, naturally) as well as self-parking slippers at a hotel.
While Nissan likes to make it appear like fun and games, ProPILOT 2.0 will provide Nissan vehicles with something they haven't had before: limited autonomous driving. ProPILOT 2.0-equipped vehicles will be able to drive themselves on select designated highways when given a predefined route. The system will only work on simple highways with toll gates, mergers, or winding roads, and will only work from the on-ramp to the off-ramp.
And as with all driver-assistance technology, the person at the wheel will have to pay attention and take control if the system fails.
It's still nowhere near as advanced as Tesla’s Autopilot function, but it’s a start.