Tesla Model S Driver Rams Into A Nissan SUV Despite Autopilot’s Warning
This is the latest Autopilot crash; but it wasn’t the system’s fault. A couple, who was too busy engrossed in something else other than focusing on the road, rear-ended a Nissan SUV despite the system warning and chiming its brains out. How can one trust a machine blindly?
Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi All Want a Piece of the Robo-Taxi Business
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has big plans for its future, and among those plans include hopping aboard the fledgling robo-taxi business. The auto conglomerate has announced plans to pursue shared driverless vehicles, and it’s already in the market for potential tech partners that can come in and help in its development. The alliance has yet to unveil its future partners in the field, but an announcement is expected to come in the near future, signaling the start of a push to become a bigger player in the world of autonomous driving.
CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan’s Brain-to-Car Communication
Nissan is preparing to debut some high-tech driving gear at the 2018 CES event, which starts January 7. But this isn’t something we’ve seen before; rather it’s a brainwave-activated driving system that controls the vehicle by predicting a driver’s intentions and mood while behind the wheel. Nissan claims it is the first automaker to use real-time brain activity as a means of “enhancing the driving pleasure and experience in autonomous driving vehicles.”
The system apparently works by measuring brain activity related to special awareness and the physical movements needed to drive a vehicle. By predicting what the driver is going to do, the vehicle can have time to prepare for the maneuver. Perhaps this includes modifying adaptive dampers or heightening throttle response in accordance with a quick turn or need for sudden acceleration.
Interestingly, the video isn’t clear how this brain-measuring device and the added driving enhancement relates to Nissan’s push toward autonomous vehicles. The nature of autonomous driving is to remove the human driver from the equation. Nissan could be using the system only when the vehicle isn’t in autonomous mode. We should know more sometime next week when Nissan reveals its new brain-to-vehicle technology at CES 2018.
Nissan Prepares to Test Self-Driving Taxis In Japan in 2018
Another day, another development in the race to put autonomous driving technology on the road. The latest bit of news comes from Nissan, which announced plans to roll out an autonomous ride-sharing pilot program with tech partner DeNA. The public test will take place in the Minatomirai district in Yokohama, Japan.
Last night Nissan finally unveiled the all-new 2018 Leaf, and it’s a massive improvement over the old car. The biggest news for EV fans will be the new 150-mile range. That’s nearly double what the original Leaf launched with. It’s even easier on your wallet with a starting price under $30,000, making it nearly $700 cheaper than the current model. But the best improvement is the all-new electric motor. The old car made a useable, but unimpressive 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. But the new 2018 car makes 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that is more amazing than you realize.
Let us put those power numbers into perspective. The Volkswagen 2.0L TDI engine, the best “performance” fuel-economy engine on the market before the Dieselgate scandal destroyed everything, produces 150 horsepower and 238 pounds of twist.
Nissan just made a viable alternative to scorned TDI buyers.
True, the TDI had some other advantages like a massive 600+ mile range before needing to be refueled, but on a pure day-to-day performance perspective, the new Leaf might work. If you bought a TDI to make your daily commute, and you still want something that is good for the environment while providing the same level of thrust, maybe you should call your Nissan Dealer.
Yes, we do know that other alternatives like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 have even more power and performance, but those cars also have much higher price tags. We aren’t sure about you, but we feel like people buying $26k Volkswagen’s might not be able to afford the $38,000 asking price of a Bolt.
But what do you guys think? Is the new Nissan Leaf good enough to be a real competitor in the market now? And if you are a former TDI owner, please let us now, and be sure to give us your thoughts on this new car.
2018 Nissan Leaf to Get Magical "E-Pedal"
The debut of the second-gen, 2018 Nissan Leaf is just a couple short months away, so it should come as no surprise that Nissan is teasing its resident EV as much as it can. So far, we’ve seen a shot of the headlight, the grille, and a video that shows how the brand’s new ProPilot, semi-autonomous driving system works. And, based on spy shots we’ve seen, the next-gen leaf is going to be quite attractive in comparison to the current model. Now, Nissan has released yet another teaser, and dropped another bombshell on us – it’s known as E-Pedal, and it’s set to revolutionize your driving experience… or make you hate the future of driving even more.
Designed as a single-pedal system, the e-pedal automatically controls braking and acceleration based on foot position. So, when accelerating, it acts just like your normal, everyday accelerator pedal, but what it does beyond that is something else. See, when you begin to lift your foot off, the car will automatically begin to slow down, which one would assume has a greater braking effect than the usual coasting you get in most cars. If you take your foot completely off of the pedal in operation, the car will automatically stop itself, with the big selling point being that it will even stop and hold on a hill, all based on the input of your foot on a single pedal. You have to admit that it sounds pretty promising, and it’s another step toward fully autonomous cars, but will people actually make use of it and trust it? Well, that remains to be seen. Keep reading to see a short video and to learn more about the upcoming 2018 Nissan Leaf.
The Next-Gen Nissan Leaf Will Handle Those Frustrating Traffic Jams On its Own
Between failed attempts to troll Tesla, and the range anxiety associated with electric cars, the Nissan Leaf really doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. I mean, don’t get me wrong; it is kind of ugly and looks like the bug-eyed bastard child that would result from a Lotus banging an early Honda Civic hatchback, but that’s ok. In the end, the Nissan Leaf has become the world’s best-selling, highway-capable electric car, with more than a quarter-million examples sold in the time it’s been on the market. So, despite all the negativity it gets, it really is an iconic car. And, that icon is about to go through a generational shift that will bring it up to speed and ready to compete with cars like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt. As of now, we have almost no idea of what it will look like outside of a teaser image of the headlight that Nissan released a few months ago, but Nissan has just announced that it will be one of the first models to get its new ProPilot driver-assist feature.
Details are scant as of this writing, and Nissan has yet to even announce a rough timeframe for the next-gen Leaf’s arrival, but if you want an idea of how the ProPilot system works, you can look back to the Piloted Drive 1.0 Concept from 2015, which pretty much handled autonomous driving in heavy highway traffic. That’s pretty much what the next-gen Leaf will be able to accomplish as well. It should function similarly to that of Tesla’s AutoPilot, GM’s SuperCruise, and Audi’s traffic-jam assist feature. The question is whether or not you’ll feel like you’re being driven by a “skilled driver” as Nissan described it when debuting that aforementioned concept. Well, let’s take a look at the short video Nissan released and see what it has to say today.
Nissan Hopes People Will Get Excited as it Starts to Tease Next-Gen Leaf
So, here’s the deal. The Nissan Leaf was the world’s first mass production electric vehicle, and Nissan has sold more than 260,000 examples of that little hatchback, but let’s not beat around the bush – it’s electric range isn’t the best. After all, it just recently crossed the 100-mile mark when Nissan added in a 30 kWh battery pack for the 2017 model year. Those 107 miles, however, just aren’t enough, with models like the Ford focus Electric, Bolt EV, Hyundai Ioniq, and even the BMW i3 beating it in range. And, let’s not even talk about how badly the more expensive Model S and Model X put it to shame. But, Nissan has made it clear that all of that is about to change as it launches a new campaign to garner interest in the next-gen Leaf prior to its debut later this year.
To launch off its new advertising campaign, Nissan has released a single teaser image that depicts what is apparently the front headlights. The projectors themselves will be rectangular in shape while a long LED strip will reside above the lens. Outside of the image, Nissan has yet to release any other information pertaining to the next-gen leaf. Based on spy shots that have been circulating the internet, it will look quite similar to the current model, keeping the weird and bubbly body, but at least it won’t look as goofy now that the bug eyes up front are gone. Since it’s set to compete against the Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, it will likely have around 200 miles in range, but that’s purely speculation at this point. Some rumors suggest a 60-kwH battery. On the plus side, Nissan confirmed last year that the next-gen model will feature the brand’s ProPilot – a technology that operates in similar fashion to Tesla’s AutoPilot.
With technology in our cars advancing at turbocharged speeds, it’s no surprise that household names like Apple and Microsoft are starting to pop up more frequently than ever. Even 10 years ago, talking about Microsoft and cars or Apple and cars just seemed out of place, but today, we’re about to talk about an all-new partnership between Microsoft and Nissan, as they up the ante on bringing better connectivity into mainstream, mass-market vehicles.
Azure is an intelligent cloud of sorts that is offered by Microsoft and will surely find its way into Nissan and Renault vehicles in the near future. This partnership will allow Microsoft and Nissan to work together in developing advanced features like over-the-air updates, remote monitors, advanced vehicle protection, and even autonomous and collision-avoidance systems. The overall aim of this partnership is to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous driving technology by 2020, all of which will use Azure services to help passengers make better use of their “free time” in the car.
Ogi Redzic, the Senior VP of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said, “A car is becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal. Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want and build all-new ones they haven’t even imagined. We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform.”
According to Nissan, this partnership with Microsoft was chosen, in part, because of the brand’s “enterprise-grade” security and Microsoft’s “commitment to compliance.” Furthermore, Azure will provide extreme flexibility to help in building a common platform for use within the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Continue reading for the full story.
Nissan Outlines Plans For ProPilot Self-Driving Technology
Nissan has revealed new details about the development of its ProPilot semi-autonomous technology, including setting a timetable of 2020 to launch a more developed version that can tackle different sets of road conditions without the aid of a human driver. For now, the technology is only able to drive on a single lane in each direction, including the ability to follow lane markers, control steering on curves, and adjust its pace accordingly in the event the preceding vehicle changes lanes or another vehicle cuts into the lane it’s on.
In addition to these abilities, the ProPilot system is also able to drive at speeds between 18 mph to around 81 mph while also being able to automatically calculate a safe distance behind the car it’s following. In traffic conditions, the system can stop by itself without the driver applying any pressure on the brake pedal and resume driving by itself as well. It can also steer within its lane and has a display that shows the system’s performance.
By 2018, Nissan is confident that the ProPilot will be able to tackle numerous lanes and handle more complex driving situations. The company isn’t specifying how it plans to get to that point, but Nissan researcher Melissa Cefkin admitted that it’s a process that’s going to take some time to develop. The automaker also said that it’s not going to be pressured into rushing the development of the system, even if rival automakers begin applying their own versions of the technology into their cars.
That said, Nissan is also not waiting for the tech to be as versatile as it hopes before it starts offering it on any of its vehicles. Even with its current capabilities, the ProPilot system is already available on the Serena van in Japan. The company is expected to begin offering the system in other models, most notably, the European-spec Qashqai SUV by 2017 and a slew of other models in the U.S. and China.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
The Japanese Join in on the Fully Autonomous Car Craze
Japan-based manufacturer Nissan has announced that its newest minivan, the Serena, will be the first vehicle in its stable to feature an autonomous drive system known as ProPILOT. The system is designed to be used in single-lane traffic at first, with automatic lane changing being a feature that will come in the near future. The system is said to use “advanced image-processing technology” and is supposed to be extremely user-friendly.
The system will control acceleration, braking, and steering when engaged, all based on information taken in through the car’s mono camera. Apparently, the system can recognize objects and lane markers in three-dimensional depth. According to Nissan’s press release, the system will keep a specific distance away from any vehicle in front of it, while keeping a consistent speed that can be set anywhere between 18 mph and about 62 mph. As you can see, the system is more suited for congested roadways and slower moving traffic, but according to Nissan, there will be additional functionality added to the system at a later time.
For those concerned with the safety of the system – especially with the number of Tesla vehicles smashing themselves lately – the ProPILOT system is designed to make sure the driver keeps his hands on the wheel. A report from Automotive News indicates there is a torque sensor built into the steering system that detects whether or not the driver’s hands are on the wheel. Should the driver try to nod off or focus his attention elsewhere, a warning light will illuminate followed by an annoying chime. If that doesn’t get the driver’s attention, the system will automatically shut down.
Continue reading for the full story.
Nissan Wants Autonomous GT-R That Recreates Famous Laps
So chances are you’ll never get to take a Nissan GT-R Nismo around the track and hit any record-breaking numbers right? Well, that might change, at least in part, in the near future. Richard Chandler – Nissan’s Advanced Product Strategy Manager – recently had an interview with Top Gear. In that interview, he spoke of a potential new driving mode called “famous laps.”
The “famous laps” mode would allow owners of the future GT-R to sit back while the car autonomously drives itself around the track at a record-matching pace. So, in theory, you could go to the Nürburgring and hit the 190 mph threshold on the Döttinger Höhe straight away without doing more than pressing the go button.
This new driving mode would allow the average driver to achieve amazing speed and the ultimate thrill on just about any track, regardless of driving skill. When speaking of autonomous technologies, Chandler said, “We’re not trying to make conveyor belts that take you from one place to another. The driver will choose when they want to take the system and when they don’t.” That’s a pretty refreshing statement, considering some have said they hope children of the future won’t need to learn how to drive.
Continue reading for the full story.
Like electric vehicles, autonomous driving technology has grown quite impressively since its initial introduction to the world. Now every manufacturer is in a hurry to develop and produce the next best level of autonomous technology. Now Renault-Nissan has announced that it is about to flood the market in full force, promising to hit a goal of launching more than ten different vehicles with autonomous capabilities in the next four years, with the primary markets being the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China.
The goal is to include this technology with mainstream cars without increasing the price to the point that the cars are unaffordable. Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan’s chairman and CEO said, “Renault-Nissan Alliance is deeply committed to the twin goals of ’zero emissions and zero fatalities. That’s why we are developing autonomous driving and connectivity for mass-market, mainstream vehicles on three continents.”
Reducing Fatalities and Emissions has been a huge success for the Alliance so far, with almost 300,000 all electric vehicles sold in the last six years, and a drastic drop in fatal and serious accidents in Nissan and Renault vehicles. Sometime this year, the alliance plans to improve on that success by introducing “single-lane” control – an autonomous feature that should bring autonomous highway driving to the masses.
The technology will allow cars to navigate within one lane and automatically steer around bends, while controlling the throttle and brakes automatically to accommodate changes in traffic. Come 2018, “multiple-lane control” should allow Renault and Nissan cars to change lanes and negotiate traffic even better. One 2020 hits, the alliance plans to debut “intersection autonomy” that will allow properly equipped cars to navigate through cities and heavy traffic without the need for driver input.
Continue reading for the full story.
The race to bring autonomous driving to public roads by 2020 is definitely on. It’s been established that Nissan has already joined this proverbial arms race. Now, the Japanese automaker is moving to the next step of its development with the unveiling of its latest prototype, a Nissan Leaf fitted with a new technology called Piloted Drive 1.0.
According to Nissan, the Piloted Drive 1.0 technology has been designed to make occupants of its autonomous vehicle feel as if they were being driven around by a “skilled driver.” Vague as that sounds, the technology, dubbed “Nissan Intelligent Driving,” is being complemented by an array of sensors installed throughout the new Leaf prototype. All in all, the car has 12 cameras, five radar sensors, four laser scanners, and ultra sonic sensors spread all over the vehicle.
How these cameras and sensors will come into play on Nissan’s autonomous vehicle is still unclear, but it is worth noting that Tetsuya Iijima, general manager of Nissan’s advanced driver assist systems strategy and engineering division, hinted that the technology being developed on the Leaf prototypes will eventually be used for mass production. If that isn’t a sign of things to come, then maybe the Japanese automaker’s plan to reveal a new concept model at the Tokyo Motor Show, one that will prominently showcase the company’s goal of marrying “car intelligence” and “electrification,” is the kind of validation that Nissan’s looking for to show that it’s serious about becoming a big player in the race to bring autonomous driving into public roads.
In the nearer future, Nissan said that it’s on schedule to debut two new technologies: a traffic-jam pilot and an automatic parking system by the end of 2016. That will be followed by an automatic lane-changing feature in 2018, a few years before its promise to launch a fully functioning autonomous vehicle.
Continue reading for the full story.