On Tuesday, 27 October, at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Nissan unveiled the IDS Concept, a vehicle it said embodies the company's vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission EVs.
Nissan president and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, took to the stage (see video) and said that Nissan’s forthcoming technologies would “revolutionise the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility”.
After taking a lead role in the development and expansion of EV technology with the Nissan Leaf, Nissan has again placed itself at the forefront of automotive technology and is now among the leaders for developing practical autonomous driving technology.
In August 2013, Ghosn said that by 2020 Nissan plans to equip innovative autonomous drive technology on multiple vehicles and it seems that progress is well on track to achieve this goal.
Nissan Intelligent Driving is Nissan’s concept of autonomous drive technology 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 Ghosn.
The Nissan IDS experience
Although some have compared autonomous driving to living in a world of conveyer belts that simply ferry people from point A to B, Nissan says its IDS Concept promises a very different vision of tomorrow. Even when the driver selects Piloted Drive and turns over driving to the vehicle, the car’s performance — from accelerating to braking to cornering — imitates the driver’s own style and preferences.
In Manual Drive mode, the driver can take control of the vehicle control while behind the scenes, 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 AI communicates like an attentive partner. From information concerning traffic conditions, the driver’s schedule to personal interests, Nissan IDS Concept AI has what is needed to help create a driving experience that is comfortable, enjoyable and safe.
Rotating seats allow for two interiors
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 has a long wheelbase that 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, which is comprised of natural materials such as mesh leather, is illuminated by soft light. All four seats rotate slightly inward, facilitating easier conversation in what is akin to a moving living room.
When the driver selects Manual Drive, the roomy interior transforms to put the driver in control. All seats face forward. The steering wheel, which takes styling cues from reins for horse riding, 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.
“In every situation, it is about giving the driver more choices and greater control. And the driver will remain the focus of our technology development efforts,” Ghosn said at the show.