The Science Behind Nissan’s VQ Engine is Beyond a Stroke of Genius
Nissan’s family of V-6 engines falling under the VQ nameplate has an aluminum block and a DOHC setup with aluminum heads. It came to replace the VG series in 1994 and ever since, it’s been a loyal presence in Ward’s 10 Best Engines rankings.
How did Nissan manage to design and build such a terrific engine? This video will run you through every tech aspect of the VQ.
Nissan’s New e-4orce AWD EV Powertrain Might Provide Support for the Next-Gen Nissan GT-R and Z Car
Nissan has been trying to make its presence in the EV world known for a while now, and the Leaf has served its purpose for the most part. The leaf, however, just doesn’t have what it takes to hold up in terms of range or performance. That’s why we were treated to the 2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor Concept and why Nissan has been using the basis of that concept to create the e-4orce twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain for its next-gen EVs. Until now, we knew very little, but Nissan has finally spilled some details about e-4orce, and it could have some serious implications on the future of Nissan sports cars.
Nissan’s Self Driving Tech Can Help You...... Golf Like a Pro?
As if self-moving chairs and self-parking slippers aren’t enough, Nissan is now showcasing its autonomous driving technologies through golf balls. Yes, golf balls. This is the Nissan ProPilot golf ball, and it’s going to make you a better golfer because of a monitoring system that calculates the correct route it must take to drop into the cup. You can putt anywhere, even with your eyes closed, and the ball will find the hole. Fortunately, you can’t use the ProPilot in actual competition because that’d be cheating. The ProPilot golf ball is simply Nissan’s latest proof of concept that’s meant to showcase its upgraded ProPilot driver assistance system that will début in the new Nissan Skyline next month in Japan. And here you thought you could be the next Tiger Woods? You’ll still need a lot of practice to get to that level.
Why is the Nissan Altima the Most Stolen New Car in the United States?
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released the data for the most stolen cars in the U.S. in 2017. While the number of thefts saw a rise of 1 percent over 2016, capping at 773,139 motor vehicle thefts across the country, the likelihood of car theft is far higher in some areas than in others. More interesting than that is the fact that the Nissan Altima become the most-stolen new car. Still, topping the charts of the most-stolen vehicles in the U.S. are the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Ford pick-up trucks, and Chevy pick-up trucks.
The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show is overflowing with new tech concepts, including this fresh entry in the crossover segment from Nissan. It’s called the IMQ, and although we’re not really into the weird exterior styling, features like the torquey hybrid powertrain, futuristic interior, and intriguing tech ideas make it worth a look.
Nissan Goes to Crazy Lengths to Test Paint Durability
A lot of people assume that you paint a car, let it dry, and you are done. But if you have watched Megafactories, you would probably know that it is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, this is one area that no one even talks about. Nissan, however, shared a little information on the same and it even involves a fake sun. How crazy is that?
10 Best Vehicle and Technology Innovations of 2018
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?
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
Meet the Nissan Pitch-R: a Pro-Pilot-Inspired Autonomous Robot the Draws Soccer Fields
Nissan’s role as an official sponsor of the 2018 UEFA Champions League afforded it the opportunity to showcase its new technologies. It did just that at the Champions League Final in Kiev over the weekend when it introduced Pitch-R, a small autonomous robot that’s capable of drawing an entire football field, or pitch, as our friends in Europe call them. The technology that allows Pitch-R to perform the way it does is heavily inspired by the Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance technology.
Pitch-R looks like a futuristic baby stroller, but its functions are far more advanced than transporting little tykes. According to Nissan, it’s capable of creating a soccer field wherever there’s space for one. The technical intricacies of how Pitch-R can accomplish this task is unclear, but the robot’s specs — a four-camera vision system and GPS location tracking and collision avoidance systems — give us an idea of what it’s capable of and, more importantly, how it directly relates to Nissan’s own pursuit of driver assistance technologies under its ProPILOT technology.
In a nutshell, Pitch-R carries eco-friendly dissolvable pain, allowing it to draw white lines on grass, tarmac, or gravel, regardless of how uneven those surfaces are. The robot utilizes the technology it has at its disposal to fulfill its purpose and function, which involves drawing an entire soccer field in just under 20 minutes.
To be clear, Pitch-R wasn’t developed specifically for use in the auto industry. It’s hard to imagine Nissan integrating football field-making capabilities on any of its existing or future models. But the technology isn’t so much a practical solution for those looking to create makeshift football fields as it as a showcase of what Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance technology is capable of. The GPS location tracking and collision avoidance systems that Pitch-R has at its disposal are features that have real-world applications for Nissan models. It functions trace its roots to Nissan’s ProPILOT technology, which is already available on the all-electric LEAF and the Qashqai crossover.
Pitch-R may look nondescript, but its abilities serve as good indications of the technologies that Nissan is developing to include in its future models.
Project: The Reborn Light – Making Use of All Those “Useless” Decommissioned EV Batteries
One of the problems with any rechargeable battery is that, after so long, they don’t hold a full charge or deliver full amperage anymore. And, such is the case with EV batteries. So, as time goes on, there will be more and more “junk” EV batteries that would otherwise need to be disposed of. Well, Nissan has an answer to this, and it isn’t disposing of them. It’s taking them in their useless-to-a-car state, attaching a solar panel to them, and using them to power streetlights that run independently of the electric grid.
As of now, it’s just a working project, but the prototype will go through initial testing on March 26 and the 4R battery reclamation factory in Namie, Japan. If everything goes according to plan, the streets of Namie will start to see them popping up in places needed the most, helping to speed up the recovery effort that has been ongoing for the last seven years following an earthquake and tsunami that rocked the region.
With that said, Nissan has released a little video that goes into a little more detail of Project: The Reborn Light. Go ahead and check it out for yourself.
Are You Prepared For a World With Self-Moving Slippers?
In case there aren’t enough things in this world that are becoming autonomous these days, Nissan is taking it a step further by giving everyday items the ability to move by themselves. We’re not talking about cars; we’re talking about things like tables, floor cushions, remote controls, and household slippers.
The unusual amenities can be found in the ProPILOT Park Ryokan, a Japanese inn located in Hakone, Japan that Nissan is using to showcase its ProPilot Park technology.Instead of the usual dog and pony show of watching a Nissan Leaf EV demonstrate the new self-parking technology, Nissan instead turned its attention to household items in order to showcase what the tech is capable of. The results are incredible, if not a little freaky. Have you ever seen a floor pillow move by itself in a non-supernatural way? How about a pair of slippers that arranges itself neatly with others of its kind? It’s going to take some getting used to.
Nissan doesn’t really say how the technology works on these items, but the video above cuts to a scene where a group of smart people are working on developing the tech, complete with renderings and mockups of the actual slippers. There’s nothing ghoulish at work here; it’s all about Nissan’s new ProPilot Park technology, and the potential applications it can have beyond its ability to park a Nissan by itself.
Maybe Nissan’t on to something here. In my case, I wouldn’t mind living in a world where my dog isn’t the only one that comes greeting me when I enter my house. I’d like to see a future where slippers could do that too. Live in Nissan’s world, or in this case, the ProPilot Park Ryokan, and that future is there, waiting to welcome us with open arms and a comfortable pair of autonomous slippers.
And in case you’re wondering about the authenticity of the hotel, Nissan’s actually offering a free night at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan for a lucky pair of travelers. If you’re interested in joining, all you need to do is post on Twitter using the hashtags #PPPRyokan and #wanttostay from January 25 to February 10, 2018. In the event you do get picked to spend a night in the inn, be sure to let us know all about that experience.
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 Wants To Let You Know When You Need A Swig Of Water
Most of you have probably heard about the study conducted by the European Hydration Institute back in 2015 that concluded that dehydration has the same effects on a person as driving under the influence of alcohol. Whether its tiredness, headaches, dizziness, and slower reactions times, these symptoms have been suggested as being evident in cases of people who are dehydrated or are under the influence. Nissan is well aware of the situation and is addressing it with Dutch design brand Droog. Their solution? A sweat-sensing material on the steering wheel and driver’s seat that informs drivers when they’re dehydrated and in need of some rehydration.
The video provides a proper demonstration of how the technology works, though, in a nutshell, it essentially involves a material called SOAK coating that’s placed on the two aforementioned locations. The material works by changing colors to indicate the driver’s hydration levels with “yellow” indicating that they’re dehydrated and “blue” signifying that they’re fully hydrated. It is worth mentioning that Droog actually owns the rights to the equipment, which it initially developed to help and inform athletes of their own hydration levels. Now that it’s partnered with Nissan, there’s the possibility that the technology can be applied to the auto industry. There’s no telling when that’s going to be since Nissan itself hasn’t indicated its plans for the SOAK technology and its potential application for its model lineup. That said, the Japanese automaker must be intrigued enough with the product to enlist Nismo racer Lucas Ordoñez to help spread awareness regarding the real state of affairs as far as driving while dehydrated is concerned.
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.
Would 181-Year-Old Technology Stop You from Texting and Driving?
With the current global climate and World War III seemingly around the corner, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about Faraday cages lately. If you haven’t, you must not know a single “prepper.” You’re probably also blind to the potential chaos an EMP device could cause if detonated over our country and why this old technology could be your best friend. To put things simply, a faraday cage is a container surrounded by a continuous covering of conductive material that is also insulated on the inside. Electrical current – or in this case, cellular signals – are unable to reach any electronic device placed inside of it. So, what does this have to do with texting and driving, or Nissan? Well, Nissan has just announced a new conceptual idea known as the “Nissan Signal Shield” for the upcoming Nissan Juke that would integrate a Faraday cage into the central armrest.
The idea behind this conceptual idea is to cut back on texting and driving by preventing cellular signals from even getting to the phone in the first place. If you can’t get that text or phone call, you can’t be distracted by your phone while you drive either, right? Nissan seems to think it might be the magic trick. But it’s not all peaches and cream, even if you’re all for some phone-free time on the road. See, we’ve all come to rely on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for things like hands-free calling or audio streaming. Some infotainment systems even allow you to use certain phone apps, including navigation, right on their built-in touchscreen. But, if you put your phone inside the Nissan Signal Shield, all of that becomes a thing of the past – electrical current or cellular signal can’t get in or out. Of course, you would still be able to stream music stored on the phone via an auxiliary cable, or in some cases, a USB cable, but you’re going to have to live without your favorite online playlists. Is it a fair tradeoff?
Continue reading for the full story.
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.
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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.