Automotive

Nissan reveals vision for the future with autonomous IDS Concept

Nissan reveals vision for the ...
Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the rear quarter on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the rear quarter on the Tokyo Show floor
Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the left side on the Tokyo Show floor.
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the left side on the Tokyo Show floor.
Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the left side on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the left side on the Tokyo Show floor
Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the front at the Tokyo Show unveiling
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the front at the Tokyo Show unveiling
Nissan IDS Concept at its Tokyo unveiling
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Nissan IDS Concept at its Tokyo unveiling
Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the right rear corner on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept as seen from the right rear corner on the Tokyo Show floor
Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
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Nissan IDS Concept on the Tokyo Show floor
Interior cockpit during Piloted driving
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Interior cockpit during Piloted driving
Driver's seat during Piloted driving
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Driver's seat during Piloted driving
Interior overall while in Manual Mode
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Interior overall while in Manual Mode
Interior overhead during Piloted driving
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Interior overhead during Piloted driving
Interior overhead during Manual driving
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Interior overhead during Manual driving
Skylight roof of the Nissan IDS Concept
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Skylight roof of the Nissan IDS Concept
Wide door access for the IDS Concept
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Wide door access for the IDS Concept
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Unveiled as a showcase of Nissan’s plans for the future of electric vehicles and autonomous driving, the IDS Concept was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show today by Nissan’s president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. Ghosn said that the company is well on track to fulfill its promise of autonomous drive technologies in production vehicles by 2020.

The Nissan IDS Concept is meant to convey a future of autonomous driving that’s not just cars as conveyor belts to take people from Point A to Point B, says Nissan. Instead, the car imitates the driver’s style behind the wheel and gives over control of the car to the driver in Manual Drive whenever requested. At all times, safety sensors and technologies monitor conditions and offer assistance, giving aid during emergency maneuvering. The vision is that of an intelligent vehicle that works as an “attentive partner” in the driving process, going beyond just plying the roads and watching traffic.

Nissan sees the car as an extension of the rest of our lives, in the same way smartphones and other gadgets have become. As such it will integrate with scheduling, personal interests, and more to seamlessly work with our lives as a valuable aid rather than just a separate tool.

"A key point behind the Nissan IDS Concept is communication," says Mitsunori Morita, Design Director. "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."

Interior overall while in Manual Mode
Interior overall while in Manual Mode

Interior and driving modes

To illustrate this, the IDS Concept’s interior has various configurations, some of which are available only when the car is driving itself autonomously (called "Piloted Drive"). When in Piloted Drive, for example, the steering column recedes into the instrument panel to be replaced by a large flat screen. The screen is the interface to the car’s artificial intelligence (AI), which responds to voice and gesture commands. Seating, meanwhile, rotates inward to create a more communal, conversational atmosphere.

That steering wheel is not your usual round wheel as found in today’s vehicles. Instead, it is a twin-handled yoke not unlike a horse’s reigns. Vehicle information is displayed on a heads-up display ahead of the driver. Interior ambient lighting changes to indicate Manual Mode. Control can be swapped between Piloted and Manual modes through physical actions only the driver can complete, optimizing safety.

"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.

The goal of these technologies, and others, are to reduce traffic accidents through smarter use of AI and on-road sensors. When vehicles can speak with one another as well as humans, they will be better able to avoid accidents and the situations that can cause them, Nissan believes.

Skylight roof of the Nissan IDS Concept
Skylight roof of the Nissan IDS Concept

Drivetrain and exterior

The Nissan IDS Concept is also a showcase of the company’s focus on zero-emissions vehicles and efficiency dynamics. Currently, Nissan is the world’s most prolific maker of production electric cars, with nearly 200,000 of them on the road globally. The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling battery electric, highway-capable car of all time. Building on that, Nissan is working towards improved range without compromising capability or cost-effectiveness.

The IDS Concept houses a 60 kWh battery and utilizes advanced use of carbon fiber and aerodynamics to achieve a range similar to most gasoline cars. Although Nissan did not specify the conceptual range of the IDS, it can be inferred that the expectation would be near 300 miles per charge – the average range of most gasoline-powered cars.

Nissan Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto said that technologies being pursued for advanced electrification include improved motors, batteries, and inverters to augment improvements in aerodynamics and charging.

The body of the IDS Concept is made entirely of carbon fiber and aims for a low coefficient of drag to heighten aerodynamics. Details such as large diameter wheels, thin-walled tires, and the use of vortexes to smooth airflow are found throughout the design.

Nissan says that, ultimately, the goal is to make "two zeroes" a reality – zero emissions and zero traffic fatalities.Source: Nissan

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2 comments
Mel Tisdale
I'll believe that autonomous road vehicles are feasible for all road conditions when I know that they can sensibly cope with the following:
1 jammed or even hijacked GPS systems 2 the need to navigate off road onto soft verges and or footpaths etc. to avoid obstructions, such as extra wide vehicles, breakdowns etc. 3 are not vulnerable to criminal activity because they automatically stop when anyone, thieves included, step in front and then another one behind in order to rob the occupants 4 can cope with sudden changes in the road situation, such as the appearance of a sink hole in its path or that a bridge has been swept away 5 can 'see' patches of ice or spilt oil/fuel etc. 6 can 'see' flood water shallow enough to possibly be 'seen' as a normal part of the road, but deep enough to cause aquaplaning 7 can 'see' that a ford is un-fordable before it is too late 8 can 'see' an accident developing on the oncoming carriage way that might affect their safe passage 9 can obey police commands 10 can always identify the person responsible for any road accident the vehicle is involved in, including the system designer 11 will know that it is foggy and make allowance for other vehicles that might not be autonomously controlled 12 will know that it has snowed and can thus see when they are driving in ever deeper snow and should slow down and abandon their current route (and will know which route is the best alternative to then take)
I am sure that given time I could extend this list.
On the one hand Nissan have got it about right when they regard the car as an extension of the humans using it, but completely wrong when they take away the steering wheel at the request of the 'driver'. Accidents happen far too quickly for that feature to ever make sense.
One hopes that out of all this (wasted) effort to make autonomous cars a whole new suite of driver assistance features becomes available so that we can let the police go on their way chasing real criminals and leave the car user to enjoy their driving experience.
As things stand we have developed a society centred on the automobile and applied draconian rules and regulations to stop it fulfilling the role we have set it to perform. Daft or what?
Donn Taylor
I agree with Mel on this one and would offer one more comment, I will never buy a "self driving" car. If I'm paying my money for a vehicle, I want to drive it, not have the computer drive me. I'll take other means of mass transit if I don't feel like driving or want to relax while on the road. So, if it comes down to it, I'll drive my motorcycle which I will control before I would ever take a self driving car. Who asked for a self driving car in the first place? Just another example of car companies deciding what we will buy and giving us no choice. No choice? No thanks! I'll keep a motorcycle in my garage just in case and a non "self driving" gas burner in the garage with it.