More than 90 percent of car crashes are caused by driver error so Nissan is working on a car that thinks for you.
Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said recently of its electric-powered IDS Concept: “Nissan’s forthcoming technologies will revolutionize the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility.”
By integrating advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Nissan claims it is among the leaders developing practical, real-world applications of autonomous drive technology.
“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,” continued Ghosn.
Some have compared a future with autonomous drive to living in a world of conveyor belts that simply ferry people from point A to B, but the IDS 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 has control. The linear acceleration and cornering are pure and exhilarating. Yet behind the scenes, the concept car 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, it will assist the driver in taking evasive action.
“For autonomous drive to become reality, as a society we have to consider not only communication between car and driver but also between cars and people. The Nissan IDS Concept’s design embodies a vision of autonomous drive as expressed in the phrase ‘together, we ride,’” said Mitsunori Morita, Design Director.
Even though it is a hatchback, the 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. All four seats rotate slightly inward, facilitating easier conversation. It’s like relaxing in a 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 metres and a heads-up display that shows route and other driving information. Interior lighting switches to blue, stimulating the ability to concentrate.
“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.