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Nissan IDS Concept previews future of autonomous driving and EVs

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Motor unveiled a concept vehicle that embodies Nissan’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and EVs: the Nissan IDS Concept.

Nissan Intelligent Driving, Nissan’s concept of autonomous drive technology, integrates advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with artificial intelligence (AI) and represents what Nissan believes next-generation vehicles should be. “Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver’s ability to see, think and react. It compensates for human error, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents. As a result, time spent behind the wheel is safer, cleaner, more efficient and more fun,” said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.


In August 2013, Ghosn said that by 2020 Nissan plans to equip innovative autonomous drive technology on multiple vehicles. Progress is well on track to achieve this goal.

With Nissan IDS, the car imitates the driver’s own style and preferences, from accelerating to braking to cornering, when the driver selects Piloted Drive and turns over driving to the vehicle.

In Manual Drive mode, although the driver has control, the Nissan IDS Concept continues to provide assistance. Sensors continually monitor conditions and assistance is available even while the driver is in control. In the event of imminent danger, Nissan IDS Concept will assist the driver in taking evasive action.

In addition to learning, the Nissan IDS Concept’s AI communicates like an attentive partner. From information concerning traffic conditions, the driver’s schedule to personal interests, Nissan IDS Concept’s AI works to help create a driving experience that is comfortable, enjoyable and safe.

The Nissan IDS Concept has different interiors depending on whether the driver opts for Piloted Drive or Manual Drive. Even though it is a hatchback, the Nissan IDS Concept’s long wheelbase enables comfortable seating space for four adults. But the cabin becomes even more spacious when the driver selects Piloted Drive. In this mode, the steering wheel recedes into the center of the instrument panel and a large flat screen comes out. Various driving-related operations are handled by AI, voice and gestures from the driver. The interior is illuminated by soft light. All four seats rotate slightly inward, facilitating easier conversation.

When the driver selects Manual Drive, the roomy interior transforms to put the driver in control. All seats face forward. The steering wheel appears along with driving meters and a heads-up display that shows route and other driving information. Interior lighting switches to blue, stimulating the ability to concentrate. Nissan’s use of hollow-structure A-pillars helps ensure excellent visibility by reducing blind spots and also contributes to the feeling of open space.

The transformation to Manual Drive can be carried out with ease through a switch between the front seats called the PD Commander. This is the only control the driver can physically operate when the car is in Piloted Drive: when the driver is ready to take over driving, a physical action should initiate the change.

The Nissan IDS Concept is fitted with a high-capacity 60 kWh battery, and with its aerodynamics, low stance, flowing form and reduced weight due to its full-carbon-fiber body, the vehicle can meet the need to drive long distances.

Other technologies on the Nissan IDS Concept include Piloted Park that can be operated by smartphone or tablet, and wireless charging technologies. Through these, the driver can leave parking and charging to the car.

Exterior communication. Various exterior lights and displays convey to pedestrians and others the car’s awareness of its surroundings and signals its intentions. The car’s side body line, for example, is actually an LED that Nissan calls the Intention Indicator. When pedestrians or cyclists are nearby, the strip shines white, signaling that the car is aware of them. Another electronic display, which faces outside from the instrument panel, can flash messages such as “After you” to pedestrians.


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Nissan needs to show us a Leaf with over 200 miles range, 120kw charging, autopilot and OTA upgrades of all its software systems. My hope is that it will come before 2018 in time to compete with the Bolt and Model 3. But that is just my hope.

The old auto industry needs to focus all of their resources on developing the technologies that will rule in the future or they will have no part of that future. GM, Toyota and VW probably spend about 7 billion USD per year on R&D. Most of that is spend on developing new combustion engines, transmission systems, exhaust systems, fuel cell vehicles and self-driving technology. Keep the R&D budget for exhaust systems so that compliance with future emission regulation can be met. Stop developing new combustion engines, transmissions and fuel cell vehicles. That could save at least 4 billion USD per year in a 7 billion USD budget. Then start spending 4 billion more per year on self-driving tech and BEVs. Hell, with 4 billion USD per year you could simultaneously develop a BEV for every market segment there is and have them all ready in less than 5 years and they would all be fully autonomous.

The old auto industry is not doing this. They don't dare it and they are void of being visionary. They have little sense for what is technically and economically possible with BEVs. This is why Tesla is certain to grow big as an auto company as there are currently no one who even try to compete in the segment that Tesla occupies. Tesla still has very limited resources so it will take many years longer to achieve sustainable transportation than if the old auto companies used all of their current resources to develop self-driving BEVs. However, self-driving BEVs are inevitably. It is only a matter of time before they take over from gassers and dirty diesels.


Its pretty odd to classify the car maker that has put more BEVs on the road than any other manufacturer on the planet as a stick in the mud legacy operation.

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The Nissan Renault alliance build capacity for making 500,000 BEVs per year but they have flopped and are only selling about 100,000 BEVs per year because they made the wrong BEVs with short-range and low charging power ability that only die hard environmentalist are willing to buy. They are loosing money on every BEV sold because of this strategy flop. I am not impressed. Tesla is on track to sell more BEVs than Nissan or Renault in 2016 and they will sell more that both combined for 2017.


Its hard to build cars, Tesla will need every sale they can get to stay afloat. They have lots of debt and not a lot of equity, and any launch delays or recalls could cripple the company. Their popularity is probably the best thing they have going for them the preorders fill their cash accounts.

I wager Tesla will have a hard time transitioning to the mass market. People in the middle classes and lower need transportation that makes sense. If they cant cut the cost deep enough it could be a flop.

I cant wait for autonomous vehicles...its the one place expensive EVs can gain ground.

Old car companies like Nissan and others can afford to research EVs, and ultimately build one for the masses.... I haven't seen anything from Tesla that is proof positive of a mass market EV, even the Bolt from GM isn't close...its closer, its starting to make sense but its not there. $23k with rebate would be the price they need, unless gas shoots up above $5/gal... If they could cut costs to $20k after rebate, people would buy them like crazy.... And you could add $5000 on for every larger vehicle segment...


It remains to be seen who will insure an autonomous car and where the liability resides.

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CE88 agree that mass market is going to be the most difficult nut to crack for Tesla. I don't think it will happen for Tesla until they launch a global taxi service with fully autonomous cars. Model 3 will not be mass market either. starting at 40k going up to perhaps 80k USD it will still be considered luxury. However, I do think Tesla could sell their planned production of about 350k unit of Model 3, and Model Y witch will be a crossover version of Model 3 with falcon doors. Mass market is not 350k per year. It is millions per year serving the middle class in a broad sense. That is autonomous BEV taxis one large city at a time in order to concentrate enough such taxis so that nobody will need to vait more than a minute or two for a ride after ordering one with your Smartphone.

SJC the liability for Tesla running a fleet of Tesla owned and Tesla operated autonomous taxis is of cause Tesla's responsibility. If a customer buys a Tesla car with full autonomy capability the liability is transferred to Tesla as soon as that autonomy is activated and when it is deactivated it is the drivers responsibility.

Volvo's x90 will have the ability to drive fully autonomous on preapproved highways and Volvo has said that when that autonomy is activated they take responsibility. It is still being tested. No cars with this system will be for sale until after 2020. I think 2020 is the time were the first fully autonomous cars will start selling but only in the top luxury segment as initially all the extra equipment that is needed in an autonomous car is going to add a lot of cost possibly over 10k USD per vehicle initially.


Who says each individual car maker has to do their own autonomous car tech? Look at the Android model where Google writes the base OS and the electronics companies supply the hardware. This has produced very good and very cheap phones at a cost much lower than Apple.

The same could be done for AVs.
Google or Uber (or Apple) could define the interfaces (sensor, GPS and control) and the car companies could supply the rest. There could be a business where the AV companies charge a per mile fee for the driving (maybe more in cities than motorways).

"All" you need are some sensors: visual, radar, maybe laser scanners to see curbs and driving controls (speed up, slow down, turn right or left and turn on the indicators).

The magic is in the control system which can be common to all vehicles. (Though it will need to be tuned to driving conditions in different cities).

A person can get into any rental car and drive it (once they find the handbrake). There should therefore be a universal car driving algorithm/system.

It will take a good while to do - we are seeing bits of it now, but "normal" city driving will be hard to do and will need different rules (or thresholds) for behavior in different cities. (Think LA vs Naples or Delhi). In some cities, it might not be usable - so just forget them.

As to liability in a crash, currently you have 3 parties: the car owner, manufacturer and insurance company + the "other person".
Now, you will have 4: car owner, AV control company, body manufacturer and insurance company.
The AV control system will make mistakes, and kill/injure the odd person. The insurance company will cover this in the same way it does now.
However, you will also have a plethora of sensors and recordings to show whose fault it was. You will know exactly how fast the car was going and if it ran a red light, so it should be simple to assign blame for the crash.
Then pay the same amount you pay for human crashes.
It will take a little time to work out the insurance rates, but it should be possible, and it should reduce over time as the AV control systems get better.


Another interesting problem is: will AV systems be tuned to cheat at traffic lights and junctions, much the same way people do.

If you had a car that would allow you to go through a red light 0.5 seconds after it had changed, you could cross town more quickly. Ditto for turns or pushing out into traffic.
People might "discover" settings for things like that "when to actually not go through a red light", and change them, or get back street garages (firmware chop shops) to "tune" the city driving a bit.
Of course, in the case of a crash, this would all come out, and I presume the person who ordered the parameters changed would be liable.


Compulsory "No Fault" insurance may be the way to go.

By removing all lawyers cost, it simplifies procedures and reduces insurance fees . Your own insurance pays for damages to you and your vehicle regardless of who is responsible. Insurances, from both parties, share the cost/damages created to other properties.

Secondly, it liberates the courts and justice system from 1000s of routine car accident claims.


New automated traffic radars (with high definition color cameras) are putting and end to speeding and cheating traffic lights, while collecting $$$M for road's repairs etc.

One well located radar unit collected $18.8M in our area last year. Over 150 units (including many mobiles) have now been installed.

Total installed price of those relatively low cost very high accuracy radar units can be recovered in a few weeks with tickets only. By adding all other direct and indirect savings from avoided accidents; cost recovery is even much faster.

Drivers caught 4 times had their driving licence removed, including some city bus, taxis, food delivery drivers etc. An excellent way to remove dangerous drivers. Police cars going 20%+ over the speed limits may be added soon.

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