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Nissan Won’t Wait for 2020 to Begin Rolling Out Autonomous Technologies, Says Ghosn

New study forecasts annual sales of 95 mil self-driving cars by 2035.

by on Jul.17, 2014

A prototype Nissan Leaf autonomous vehicle negotiates traffic at a simulated urban intersection.

Betting on huge demand from motorists in the world’s increasingly crowded mega-cities, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has laid out an aggressive timetable for bringing the maker’s autonomous vehicles to market.

Even before the first of those self-driving cars goes on sale in 2020, said Ghosn, Nissan will launch new technologies, such as automated lane controls and highway traffic management systems that will begin to supplement the driver behind the wheel.

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We're Not on Autopilot!

Nissan is aiming to take the lead in the development of autonomous technologies but is likely to face a battle as other automakers enter the field – as well as tech giant Google which will begin launching field tests this year of a new prototype self-driving vehicle it has developed. The race could find a willing public, according to a new study by Navigant Research forecasting annual sales of autonomous vehicles could reach 95 million by 2035.

“By the end of 2016, Nissan will make available the next two technologies under its autonomous drive strategy,” said Mr. Ghosn.

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Nissan Leaf Buyers Getting Free Car Charging

New program allows owners to use stations at no cost.

by on Jul.09, 2014

Nissan Leaf buyers not only don't have to pay for gas as owners of an electric vehicle, under a new program, they'll be able to charge their cars free of charge.

One of the standing arguments in favor of electric vehicle ownership is that it costs far less to charge a car than to fill it with gasoline. Nissan is strengthening that argument by making that cost zero.

The Japanese maker’s new “No Charge to Charge” promotion gives Nissan Leaf buyers two years of free charging at selected public charging stations in 10 markets around the country: San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

A Real Performer!

“Free charging is a great way for Nissan and our charging partners to make Leaf an unbeatable value for the average American driver,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure. “The popularity of ‘No Charge to Charge’ since our April announcement shows that public charging spurs range confidence and additional Leaf sales.” (more…)

Daimler and Nissan to Partner on New Mexican Luxury Car Plant

New factory will produce both Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.

by on Jun.27, 2014

Nissan opened up its Aguascalientes plant last year. But it left plenty of room to expand once it locked down its joint venture with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz.

Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG will announce a significant expansion of their four-year-old alliance this morning, the two partners planning to set up a new plant in Aguascaliente, Mexico that will produce small luxury cars for the Japanese maker’s Infiniti brand and the German manufacturer’s Mercedes-Benz.

The project, first reported last year by TheDetroitBureau.com, takes the three-way partnership between Daimler, Nissan and French automaker Renault to a significant new level. The maker’s initially agreed to jointly produce engines and, among other things, develop a small car platform to be used for both Daimler’s Smart brand and as a replacement for the little Renault Twingo. Just this week, a new Nissan plant in Decherd, Tennessee launched production of engines for both the Infiniti and Mercedes brands.

Your Global News Source!

The new luxury car plant will be set up alongside an existing assembly line Nissan opened in the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes next year. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has previously both confirmed they were discussing the possibility of a new joint production facility but insiders say it took longer than expected to work out the details.

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Nissan Set to Launch “Smart” Mirror

Could cameras could soon replace conventional mirrors?

by on Jun.18, 2014

The Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror's image is virtually identical to a conventional mirror - but it eliminates obstacles inside the car.

At first glance, it looks like any ordinary Nissan Rogue, but slipping behind the wheel you might notice that the mirror is just a little bit larger, with an oversized black frame that looks a bit like nerdy tortoiseshell glasses.

And despite how you might try to adjust the rearview mirror, the image stays exactly the same – until you flip a small hidden switch. That, it turns out, shuts off the camera mounted near the top of the Rogue’s back window.

What a Concept!

The compact crossover, it turns out, is fitted with a prototype version of Nissan’s so-called Smart Rearview mirror. Set to go on sale in Japan in 2015, it gives the driver the choice of using it as a conventional mirror or, with the flip of a switch, it becomes a video monitor connected to that little camera.  That approach has a number of advantages, according to the Japanese maker. Among other things, the driver’s line of sight is no longer obstructed by backseat occupants, cargo or a narrow rear window.

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Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo Offers “Hints” of the Future

"Watch this space..." maker says.

by on Jun.16, 2014

The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is apparently more than just a virtual fantasy.

The great thing about the digital world is that you can do just about anything with the right programmer.  A little bit of code and your latest Mario Brothers game allows you to drive upside-down. But when it comes to the long-running Gran Turismo series, the goal has been to craft something as real as possible, from the look of the cars to the way they perform “on track.”

And with the new Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, the maker is broadly hinting that its latest entrant into the PlayStation driving franchise might eventually become a case of life imitating art.

Beyond the Headlines!

The Concept 2020, it says, “gives hints as to how a supercar of the future might look.” There is, of course, a yawning gap between saying this “is” a look at a future Nissan supercar and a more waffling “might be.” But it’s not all that much a stretch to connect a few dots to see how this virtual concept could be the missing link between today’s Nissan GT-R and the model that might follow.

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Nissan, Daimler Power up their Growing Alliance

New Infiniti plant will also provide engines for Mercedes C-Class.

by on Jun.13, 2014

Infiniti's new Decherd plant will eventually have capacity to produce 250,000 engines annually.

The growing, three-way alliance between Nissan, Renault and Daimler is about to take a critical next step with opening later this month of an engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee.

Officially known as the Infiniti Decherd Powertrain Plant, the facility will serve not only the Nissan luxury brand but also provide engines for the Mercedes-Benz assembly line in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Insight!

The three makers first agreed to work together in 2010, announcing a variety of projects that included joint vehicle development and a powertrain swap – the latter leading to the Decherd program. The factory will initially produce a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that will be used in European versions of the Infiniti Q50 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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Court Gives Green Light to NYC’s Taxi of Tomorrow

Nissan expected to see $1 billion in new business.

by on Jun.12, 2014

With a reversal of a lower court ruling, Nissan's NV200 will be the cab of choice for the next 10 years in New York City.

Overturning a lower court decision, a New York appeals court has given its blessing to the ambitious, if controversial, NY Taxi of Tomorrow project that could soon see fleets of Nissan NV200s prowling the streets of the Big Apple.

The decision is a setback for taxi operators who had wanted more flexibility when it comes to the hacks they purchase, but it’s certainly good news Nissan which was given the lucrative 10-year contract in 2011, beating out bids from Ford Motor Co. and a little Turkish company that had developed a vehicle specifically for the city contract.

Your Automotive Source!

The project ran into a roadblock when a lower court sided with opponents of the Taxi of Tomorrow plan. Among other things, drivers were concerned they would spend too much on fuel because the NV200 isn’t a hybrid. (more…)

Something Wicked Coming from Nissan

Teaser hints at new Gran Turismo racer.

by on Jun.12, 2014

Nissan will officially reveal the concept on Monday.

Looking like it might belong in the movie version of Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi tale, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Nissan has offered up a teaser image of a new concept sports car that it will soon unveil during an event in Los Angeles.

Promising “all will be revealed” next Monday, June 16th, the Japanese maker hints that what it has in store, appropriately enough, will be “the next chapter in our Nissan story to an audience that has always shared our passion for performance.”

Gamesmanship!

What might that mean? If Vegas bookies were working up the odds, there’s better-than-even money on the likelihood the maker is about to introduce a new virtual concept that should plug into the wildly popular Sony PlayStation videogame, Gran Turismo.

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Nissan Teases New Pickup

Frontier set for global unveiling next week.

by on Jun.03, 2014

Nissan will initially launch the next-generation Frontier model -- also known as the Navarra - abroad.

It could be a big year ahead for Nissan in the truck category. The maker has already confirmed that it will unveil an all-new version of its full-size Titan at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, and now it is sending out a Twitter heads-up alerting the world that it will pull the wraps off a second pickup next week.

“There’s a special member of the #Nissan family on the way. Due date: June 11th,” the maker revealed, adding an image of a gauze-covered truck that TheDetroitBureau.com has confirmed is the next-generation Frontier model.

The New Frontier!

“The Nissan Frontier is a very important part of the Nissan lineup and of our truck growth strategy for the U.S.,” the maker responded to a query from TheDetroitBureau.com. “We remain committed to midsize pickup segment where the U.S.-built Nissan Frontier is the second-best selling truck in the market.  Here in the U.S., we’re gearing up for next year’s launch of the all-new full-size Nissan Titan.”

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DeltaWing Unveils 4-Seat Passenger Car Concept

Ultra-light and aero design goes from track to street.

by on May.28, 2014

The DeltaWing sedan concept picks up many of the design elements of the race car, notably its sleek aerodynamic shape and light weight.

The radical DeltaWing race car created quite a buzz when it made its debut a few years back, and this equally radical 4-seat passenger car concept is likely to stir things up even more.

Developed by the Georgia-based DeltaWing Technologies, the prototype features a narrow, windswept nose and ultra-light construction to significantly improve fuel economy without sacrificing performance. Whether potential buyers would take to the unusual design remains to be seen, but aerodynamics and “lightweighting” have become critical to the industry’s efforts to meet the tough 54.5 mpg federal fuel economy standards going into effect in 2025.

Just Wing It!

“Many of the aerodynamic, lightweight and handling benefits of the race car can translate to the street,” said DeltaWing Chairman Don Panoz. “We are competing at the highest levels of road racing with half the weight, half the horsepower, and nearly half of the fuel consumption. We believe we can deliver similar results on the street without compromising safety, comfort and performance. We have a formula that’s highly efficient and still fun to drive.”

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