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.