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Nissan Drives a Computer — On Wheels!

Art Samaniego Jr

Updated

Nissan

Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director, Atsushi Najima, with the Nissan LEAF, the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility at the Tokyo Motor Show held at Tokyo Big Sight.

The car is still the centerpiece of Nissan’s display at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show but looking deeper, you could see clearly that this giant automaker is reinventing cars to seamlessly integrate technology to its vehicles. With more than 22,000 research and development staff in 29 R&D centers in 14 countries Nissan is serious in accelerating advanced technology development to create new things for its “intelligent mobility” battle cry.

“Intelligent Mobility will transform your car into a more responsive partner by redefining how your car is driven, powered and integrated into society.” says Roel De-Vries Nissan’s SVP for Marketing, Customer Experience and Brand Strategy.

  • Nissan aims to make driving more exciting and safer.  With “zero fatality” goal, the company has been refining and improving features that could make driving not only safer but also more exciting to the driver as he could have more “confident control” of the car.

 

  • The Nissan ProPILOT 2.0 Technology is the world’s first intelligent highway driving system with hands-off single lane driving capability. ProPILOT assists drivers in highways by maintaining speed and keeping safe distance from others vehicles, accelerating and braking automatically, while staying on the current lane.

We used the Nissan Skyline vehicle to test this during the Tokyo Motor Show. To experience fully this technology we used Tokyo’s motorway (expressway) to test it.

I was hesitant (ok, afraid) when the instructor asked me to let go of the steering wheel and the pedals. He assured me that, when the car takes over, it would have a precise control of the vehicle because of the onboard 360-degree sensing technology and the 3D high definition map which could be updated anytime using high-speed internet.

  • The ProPILOT 2.0 can be activated by just pressing two buttons — one to turn it on and the other one to confirm. This technology could also do “lane change assist” meaning it could overtake slow moving vehicles in front of you and then go back to your original lane when it’s safe — without you doing anything.

The car is also equipped with Nissan’s Speed Limit Assist.  No  need to worry about violating  speed limits as the car automatically adjusts to the speed limit that it “sees” on the road signs along the way. I was told that millions of calculations per second were done within the car to make this possible.

  • When we were near our destination, the car asked me if I want to exit the expressway, I then pressed the green button to agree. The Nissan Skyline then signaled left, checked the environment for incoming cars using cameras and sensors and when it detected that it’s safe, it slowed down and used the off-ramp to exit the expressway. I then placed my hands lightly on the steering wheel and I got the full control of the car.

 

  • “I was very excited to experience the new ProPILOT 2.0’s hands-free driving capabilities and advanced navigation system. The new technologies support multiple lane driving, whereas the previous ProPILOT only supported single lane. This advancement under Nissan Intelligent Mobility amazed me, because it made driving more relaxed, pleasurable, convenient. It also allowed me to converse freely with my passengers – something I don’t normally get to do. ProPILOT 2.0 brings back the human element to the drive, allowing the interaction between drivers and passengers, and creating a world that is more connected in more ways than one.” Says Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director, Atsushi Najima who also experienced the ProPilot 2.0 during the motorshow.

 

  • Here comes e-Power. With a long term vision of reducing carbon dioxide emission by 90% in 2050 as compared to the year 2000 level, Nissan demonstrated that it’s electrification strategy could realize this target.  Nissan showed that even cars powered by gasoline engine could deliver massive torque, smooth acceleration and quiet operation like a full electric vehicle.

Another useful tech that Nissan showed at the Tokyo Motor Show is the Energy Share as part of its electrification strategy.  With Nissan’s EV it is now possible to share energy between your car and your home.  Yes, your electric vehicle could now power your home in the event of power outage.  An average home uses about 10kWh of power per day.  Nissan’s EV could supply up to 40kWh, meaning it could supply homes with enough energy for up to four days.

With all the advanced technology Nissan demonstrated in the recent Tokyo Motor Show, it seems that its corporate goal of zero emission and zero fatality is not too far after all.

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