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Nissan on track for autonomous vehicles by 2020

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Nissan has revealed more details on its plans for autonomous vehicle technology which it has confirmed is on track to launch on some models by 2020.

The Japanese brand revealed its new electric vehicle IDS concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show which previews some of its driverless car tech.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and chief executive, said: “Nissan’s forthcoming technologies will revolutionise the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility.

“Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver’s ability to see, think and react. It compensates for human error, which causes more than 90% of all car accidents. As a result, time spent behind the wheel is safer, cleaner, more efficient and more fun.”

The Nissan IDS features a “piloted drive” mode that 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 but the IDS Concept continues to provide assistance with sensors that monitor conditions and assistance. In the event of imminent danger, the IDS Concept will assist the driver in taking evasive action.

In addition to learning, the Nissan IDS Concept's artificial intelligence communicates information concerning traffic conditions, the driver’s schedule and personal interests.

Mitsunori Morita, Nissan design director, said: “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 IDS Concept has different interiors depending on whether the driver opts for piloted drive or manual drive.

In piloted drive 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. All four seats rotate slightly inward, facilitating easier conversation between passengers.

When the driver selects manual mode all seats face forward and the steering wheel appears along with driving meters and a heads-up display that shows route and other driving information.

The transition between driving modes can be made 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. Nissan says a physical action should initiate change if the driver is ready to take over driving.

The IDS Concept is fitted with a high-capacity 60 kWh battery and other technologies include piloted park that can be operated by smartphone or tablet, and wireless charging technologies. T

Nissan has set zero fatalities and zero emissions as an aspirational target in its mission “to help create a sustainable car-based society”.

Nissan IDS demo video:

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