A fun demo of their newest driving assist technology, ProPilot 2.0.

For many people the game of golf is a great source of relaxation and entertainment. Not for me though, as the very idea of hitting a tiny ball hundreds of meters into a tiny hole sends my blood pressure rising. Personally, I’d get the same “satisfaction” staying home and threading needles.

But I think I could genuinely get into the game if I had this little gadget developed by Japanese automaker Nissan: The ProPilot Golf Ball.

As the four-year-old in the video demonstrates, no matter where and how someone putts the ball on the green, it will automatically take control of its own course and go into the hole. What a time to be alive!

When Nissan unveiled the ProPilot Golf Ball on 22 August, it piqued the interest of many.

“Oh, very interesting.”
“It’s especially good that hitting it with the golf club doesn’t damage the mechanism.”
“This might change golf as we know it.”
“Doesn’t Everybody’s Golf (aka Hot Shots Golf) already have this feature?”
“This is like the AlphaGo of the golf world.”
“I think it would be really relaxing to have the ball always go in no matter where you putt it from.”
“They ripped off Sphero.”

Sphero is a similar high-tech moving ball developed years ago by an American company of the same name. In the following promotional video, a Sphero can also be seen finding its way into the cup of a golf course.

However, Sphero is steered by the user via smartphone. The ProPilot Golf Ball, on the other hand, drives itself. It simply needs to be told to go into the hole, then an extrernal camera locates its position on the green and a route to the hole is constantly updated and uploaded to the ball wirelessly.

Then all it needs to do is drive itself according to the uploaded directions until it reaches its destination, and I collect ten bucks from some sucker foolish enough to bet against me and my ProPilot Golf Ball.

While its applications for cheating are indeed wonderful, the real reason for this invention is to demonstrate Nissan’s ProPilot 2.0 driver support technology. Included in the upcoming line of Skyline cars, ProPilot 2.0 uses the same system to help drivers reach their destinations using map data, cameras, and radar to navigate both roads and traffic.

That all sounds great and useful, but I think we as a society really need to focus more on technology that helps me win at things I can’t be bothered to develop a skill in. Hopefully, when fully autonomous driving becomes legal in Japan, Nissan will promote theirs by creating a device that automatically lets me win at UFO catchers every time.

Source: CNET Japan, Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube/Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!