Here is a pretty interesting concept car from Nissan for the Tokyo auto show: the IDS.
This rolling showcase shows the latest Nissan vision for a sporty, ultra-efficient battery-electric vehicle of the future. One might think of this as a superLeaf, as well as a look at the tech expected to underpin the redesigned ~2017 Leaf.
The major upgrades are everywhere: exterior design is all-new and aggressively sleek in the wind tunnel. The cabin is a future-tech fantasy of touchscreens and AI controls, including a fully autonomous drive mode.
Under the actually-pretty-stylish nose and its extreme lower splitter, next-gen LEDs form the entire lighting suite, plus an LED-let beltline extending around the full edge of the IDS Concept. Slimline wheels with just 175-rated tire widths are a BMW i8-style approach to lessening drag for high-speed EV cruising, while the chopped and chiseled new rear fenderline and glasshouse are a clean break from the humdrum Leaf hatchback, in look if not operation: the next-gen Leaf from this IDS concept is likely to be a 5-door more akin to the Prius or new Toyota Mirai.
A 60 kWh battery pack will mark nearly a doubling of the current 2016 Leaf’s max battery size.
No word yet on the production intent of the IDS concept, but expect parts of this design feel and autopilot drive option on a future global Nissan EV.
2015 Nissan IDS Concept
Today at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled a concept vehicle that embodies Nissan’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission EVs: the Nissan IDS Concept.
Presenting at the show, Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: “Nissan’s forthcoming technologies will revolutionise the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility.”
After leading the development and expansion of EV technology, Nissan once again stands at the forefront of automotive technology. By integrating advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Nissan is among the leaders developing practical, real-world applications of autonomous drive technology.
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.
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,” continued Ghosn.
By 2020, expect to see Nissan Intelligent Driving technology deployed on cars in cities around the world.
The Nissan IDS experience
Some have compared a future with autonomous drive to living in a world of conveyer belts that simply ferry people from point A to B, but the Nissan 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 has control. The linear acceleration and cornering are pure and exhilarating. Yet 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’s AI communicates like an attentive partner. From information concerning traffic conditions, the driver’s schedule to personal interests, Nissan IDS Concept’s AI has what is needed to help create a driving experience that is comfortable, enjoyable and safe.
Design – Together, we ride
“A key point behind the Nissan IDS Concept is communication. 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 Nissan’s vision of autonomous drive as expressed in the phrase together, we ride,” says Mitsunori Morita, Design Director.
Two interiors enable two ways for the driver to enjoy the experience
Together, we ride is clearly demonstrated in the interior design. “The Nissan IDS Concept has different interiors depending on whether the driver opts for Piloted Drive or Manual Drive. This was something that we thought was absolutely necessary to express our idea of autonomous drive,” says Morita.
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 centre 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 comprises natural materials such as mesh leather, is illuminated by soft light. 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 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.
“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 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.
Exterior design — communication that creates confidence and harmony