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Nissan Launches Intelligent Driver Project in UK; First Such Outside of Japan

Nissan has launched the Nissan Intelligent Driver Project (NIDP): an eight-month study of drivers in the United Kingdom (UK) beginning this month that uses satellite navigation systems, mobile phone technology and advanced vehicle telematics to analyse driving habits and suggest ways of improving fuel economy. Reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 are the two main targets behind the project.

In a similar trial in Japan, drivers reduced fuel usage by an average of 18%, with comparable reductions in CO2 emissions. It led to savings at the pump of an estimated €350 (US$492) per year. If similar improvements can be realized in Europe, the results would make a significant contribution to the development of these features in next-generation Information Technology (IT) & Telematics systems.

Nissan is taking a holistic approach towards sustainable mobility. Reducing CO2 by making our vehicles more efficient is just one element. Equally significant are the people behind the wheel. The Nissan Intelligent Driver Project will help our customers develop eco-driving techniques with a vision toward using them on every journey as a matter of course. We expect the UK program to show that this is a practical, affordable and highly effective way of reducing vehicle emissions.

—Minoru Shinohara, senior vice president, Technology Development Division Planning & Advanced Engineering Development Division

Along with real-time fuel economy updates displayed to the driver via the vehicle’s satellite navigation screen, data from every trip is transmitted daily to the Nissan Global Data Center for analysis. This information is then published on a password-protected Web site that can be accessed by the drivers participating in the trial. The site allows drivers to compare their performance to other motorists driving similar vehicles, along with monitoring progress of their individual eco-driving techniques. Drivers are rewarded with Bronze, Silver or Gold status, with the most fuel-efficient drivers awarded the Platinum ranking.

The NIDP trial is the first conducted by Nissan involving Nissan vehicle owners outside Japan. The UK was chosen for the NIDP trial because fuel prices are among the highest in Europe and the country was one of the first to set lower CO2 targets for vehicle emissions. The UK is also Nissan’s largest market in Western Europe and home to a manufacturing plant in Sunderland, a design centre in London and a technical research and development facility in Cranfield.

In addition, Nissan already has in place a number of partnerships with UK organisations to promote zero emission mobility. These include One NorthEast, a Regional Development Agency for the northeast of England, and Green Tomato Cars, a low-emission chauffeur drive company.

Nissan has also briefed the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the project and at the conclusion of the trial will demonstrate the benefits of telematics as a material contributor to CO2 reductions in real-world driving conditions.

More than 100 Nissan Qashqai and Nissan X-TRAIL owners have been invited to participate in the trial. Their vehicles will be fitted with the special telematics equipment for the eight-month trial. A diverse range of drivers has been selected for the field operational test to ensure that the results are as meaningful as possible.

Data collected will be used in two ways: on-board and off-board. On-board, fuel economy information is relayed to the driver. By analysing the way the car is being driven, advice can be sent to the driver to promote fuel-efficient driving techniques. Off-board analysis is available via the Internet site where the day’s mileage can be evaluated in greater detail and eco-training advice can be given. A driver’s performance can be measured against others driving identical cars, with competition helping encourage participants to improve their ratings – providing further benefits to the environment.



Innovation is alive and well.
With this system, driving habits could be effectively and promptly improved by such interactive comments such as “Why are you changing lanes to pass that guy, you know you have to turn right at the next light?” and “ If you don’t slow down your parking group will be downgraded to 'one block away'”.

Full use of the system could be enforced by requiring drivers to input their destination and reason for the trip to maintain his Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum status (and you would not even be allowed to drive if you did not respond to periodic queries; which could include public service information or commercial advertising to fund the system).

Banning Rush from the airways would be unnecessary, it could just be judged distracting to the driver and result in reduction of your status (which, incidentally, should be made public).

With bar codes and customer identification cards at the store, “lying” to the system would be impossible and trips to pick up a pack of cigarettes, a six pack or even a single loaf of bread would be a thing of the past.

Hundreds of single SUVs, each taking some little brat to soccer practice would be easily changed to much fewer, computer controlled carpools

This would be synergistic: Eating habits, weight (sensed by the seat belt monitor) and skipping visits to the gym could be readily monitored.

Opportunities are endless.


I don't like these kinds of technologies that are essentially adding thousands of dollars to vehicles in order to get you to drive like an old f a r t. Focus on higher MPG with losing horsepower (or higher MPG and HP), good design, performance and ride - not gee whiz technology that is essentially a bunch of fluff that inflates the price of the vehicle. An economy stripped-down version of the Prius could be thousands less!


...focus on higher MPG WITHOUT losing horsepower....


Where is this information going and who collects it in the end - smacks of big brother.

In the UK, the Government's approach to people's driving habits is becoming more and more nannying - an analogy is painting by numbers.

Roads are increasingly becomng littered with pointless signs taking away the need to divers to rely on their own skills less and less and turnig us into robots. The declining standards in some drivers (and I'm not talking about speeding motorists) tells me that. This is despite the UK having one of the best road safety records in the world.

There is a proposal for a blanket reduction of the national speed limit on roads which are of a lesser standard from 60mph to 50mph (which is already being done by stealth anyway by authorities hell bent on sop called politically correct anti car measure - along side reducing road space and so on - more to take the fun out of driving than for safety to get people to use public transport (idiots!)). I think this is just another nannying strand.

I know already how to eco drive (and I do) - I know how to drive within the speed limit and to appropriate conditons without coming off a bend and hitting a tree. I don't need big brother to tell me.

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