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Nissan Aims to Add 8 New EVs, Boost Electrified Vehicle Sales to 1 Mil Annually

Japanese maker also planning 20 autonomous models.

by on Mar.23, 2018

One of the new EVs will be based on the Nissan IMx concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Already the world’s largest seller of battery-electric vehicles, Nissan is targeting sales of 1 million electrified models by 2022, a five-year, six-fold increase, officials said Friday at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama.

The second-largest of Japan’s automakers also plans to add 20 new autonomous models by 2022, while having all of its vehicles, both under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, equipped with connected car technology.

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“The heart of our strategy in terms of electrification is battery EVs and e-Power technology,” Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein told reporters during a media briefing. E-Power is the company’s term for vehicles using gasoline engines to extend range.


Nissan to Demonstrate Brain-to-Vehicle Technology at CES

System can anticipate what a driver is going to do.

by on Jan.03, 2018

A volunteer uses the Nissan B2V technology to test how it works will driving on a simulator.

I think, therefore I drive? So, classical philosopher Rene Descartes might have opined after checking out the new Brain-to-Vehicle technology that Nissan Motor Co. will unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of voice control. But Nissan’s system is designed to decode what a driver is thinking and use that to help control how a vehicle steers, accelerates or brakes. In an emergency, for example, it could allow a car to begin slowing down as much as a half-second before the driver’s foot actually hits the brake pedal.

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“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.


Nissan Launches ProPilot At Awkward Moment

Japanese automaker opts for cautious approach as Tesla Autopilot comes under fire.

by on Jul.15, 2016

The new ProPilot system goes beyond active cruise control but is not hands-free.

With a goal of launching its first fully self-driving vehicle barely four years from now, Nissan is taking a first big step to get there with the launch of its new ProPilot system.

But the debut of the semi-autonomous technology comes at a potentially awkward moment, rival Tesla Motors taking serious heat for a series of crashes that may be linked to the U.S. maker’s similar Autopilot systems.

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It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Nissan officials put as much emphasis on the limits of ProPilot as they did on the new system’s capabilities during a preview at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.


Infiniti May add Semi-Autonomous Technology for Most New Models

Next step: fully autonomous vehicles.

by on Jun.08, 2016

The Infiniti Q50 already offers a steer-by-wire system that would readily enable autonomous driving.

Luxury brand Infiniti is likely to add semi-autonomous driving capabilities to most of its new models, the Nissan subsidiary’s president said, during an appearance at a global auto industry summit in Chongqing, China.

The move would potentially put Infiniti on a par, and perhaps ahead, of key luxury rivals in the race to bring fully self-driving vehicles on the road by the early part of the coming decade. And Infiniti’s announcement would echo the aggressive goals of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has said the second-largest Japanese automaker wants to have as many as 10 autonomous vehicles in production by 2020.

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“This will be rolled out as we are launching new vehicles one by one,” Roland Krueger, Infiniti’s president, told the Reuters news service.


Self-Driving Cars Likely to Mean Lower Insurance Premiums

Autonomous cars expected to be a standard feature by 2035, predicts Moody’s.

by on Mar.29, 2016

A Google car prototype.

An estimated 90% of all crashes are the result of driver error which, proponents believe, should mean markedly fewer deaths and injuries once autonomous vehicles begin rolling out on the nation’s highways.

That should be doubly good news for American motorists, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, which predicts a sharp decline in auto insurance rates. But that’s not necessarily good news for the insurance industry.

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“Accident frequency will fall sharply over time, and will ultimately translate into significantly lower premiums and consequently lower profits for auto insurers,” the report forecasts.


Nissan and Renault Set to Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

“The future is not clear,” says CEO Ghosn.

by on Mar.24, 2016

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in NY.

Already the world’s number one producer of battery-electric vehicles, Japan’s Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault intend to become the leader in autonomous driving, as well – CEO Carlos Ghosn telling a New York International Auto Show audience the partners intend to offer 10 vehicles with “significant autonomous drive functionality” by 2020.

According to Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to roll out increasingly advanced version of its technology over the next four years, starting with cars capable of operating hands-free in a single lane on limited-access highways. The next step will allow vehicles to pass and change lanes, with the alliance’s first, fully autonomous car set to go into production by 2020.

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“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious” about changing technology, said Ghosn, who added that traditional automakers face a series of potential challenges, some posed by an assortment of outside tech companies like Google and Apple.


California Says “Driverless” Cars Still Need a Driver

Rules will create new class of autonomous vehicle "operators."

by on Dec.17, 2015

Google won't be allowed to start testing vehicles without steering wheels or pedals.

California regulators have laid out new rules covering the imminent roll out of autonomous vehicles and, among other things, they’ve decided that “driverless” cars will continue to need to have a driver – or at least a licensed “operator” — sitting behind the wheel.

California already has a large number of autonomous prototypes rolling down its highways, and Google, considered one of the leaders in self-driving technology, operates many of them near its base in Silicon Valley. But the new rules show regulators want to take a go-slow approach to actually putting autonomous vehicles in the hands of consumers.

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The draft regulations are generating a mixed response; some skeptics see the move as a way to put safety first, but Google said it was “gravely disappointed” by the state’s announcement.


Ford Set to Test Autonomous Cars on California Roads

Modified Fusion Hybrid will operate out of Palo Alto research center.

by on Dec.16, 2015

An autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid begins testing on public roads in California.

California roadways are starting to get crowded with autonomous vehicles.

Even though the first retail self-driving vehicles aren’t expected to roll into showrooms until 2020, at the earliest, a growing number of automakers have begun testing their technology out on public roads. And Ford Motor Co. is the latest to get a permit from the Golden State, one of the first to create a special license for autonomous vehicles.

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Starting next month, Ford will start testing a specially modified version of its familiar Fusion Hybrid sedan on the streets near its new Silicon Valley research center. It’s already been using a simulated urban setting, dubbed Mcity, set up by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Nearly 20 Mil Self-Driving Cars Expected to be on the Road by 2025

Dealing with the deadly “Trolley Problem.”

by on Dec.03, 2015

Autonomous vehicles, like this Google Car, could become a common sight in barely a decade.

While the first autonomous vehicles  are only expected to reach production by 2020, a new study forecasts they will catch on fast, with as many as 20 million of them likely to be operating on roads around the world by the middle of the next decade.

That said, the new study by Britain’s Juniper Research emphasizes that even by 2025, self-driving vehicles will represent less than 1% of the vehicles in use around the world. And that raises serious flags, industry analysts warning that things could get bumpy in the first years the technology is in use.

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“The research noted that concerns over the decision making capabilities of these systems have been raised and questions have been asked about the decisions autonomous vehicles would take when presented with…two disastrous outcomes,” stated a summary of the new Juniper study.


Navigating Tokyo in Nissan’s Autonomous Leaf

Self-driving system evolving fast, but can it make Nissan's 2020 target?

by on Oct.27, 2015

Just in case: Chief Engineer Tetsuo Ijima is always ready to take control in an emergency.

It takes a moment for Ijama-san to squeeze out into the heavy Tokyo traffic. To be more precise, it takes a moment for the Nissan Leaf to sense a good opening a pull out. Tetsuya Ijima, the senior engineer overseeing the company’s autonomous vehicle program is, like the rest of us in the little battery-car, just along for the ride.

Two years after announcing plans to put a fully self-driving vehicle into production by the beginning of the next decade, Nissan is holding to that timetable, offering a small group of journalists a chance to see how far its program has progressed.

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While Ijima cautioned that there is plenty more to do before a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf really will be ready for consumers, the nearly hour-long drive on some of the world’s busiest streets showed just how fast the project is moving – while also revealing some of the many challenges yet to be resolved.