Nissan IDS 8

Nissan has unveiled an intelligent electric vehicle (EV), called the IDS Concept. The sleek hatchback is also an autonomous-driving car. A preview of the next-generation Leaf and Nissan’s goal to have a fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020, the IDS Concept gives us a detailed glimpse of the brand’s Piloted Drive technology.

Engaging Piloted Drive will transition the acceleration, braking and cornering from driver to car, imitating the driver’s style and preferences. Furthermore, when Piloted Drive is engaged, the cabin changes, the steering wheel stows away into the centre instrument panel and a large flat screen comes out.

Driving operations can be handled through the Artificial Intelligence (AI), voice and gestures made by the driver. Also, in Piloted Drive mode, all four seats will rotate slightly towards each other, to facilitate conversation between occupants. In this mode, the only operable function is a switch called the PD Commander, which when activated, will disengage autonomous driving to shift back to Manual Drive.

In Manual Drive mode, the driver is back in control of the vehicle with the seats rotating forward on its own. Although the driver is back behind the wheel, the IDS Concept’s assistance systems continue to work. Sensors will monitor conditions and will automatically assist to provide evasive action should a dangerous situation emerge.

The IDS Concept also features Artificial Intelligence. The car can learn and communicate with the driver, providing information such as traffic conditions, driver’s schedule and even personal interests. Additionally, the AI also works together with the sensors to reduce human errors to ensure better safety for occupants and pedestrians – part of Nissan’s goal to reach zero traffic fatalities.

Exterior-wise, the IDS Concept’s body is made entirely from carbon-fibre and painted in a blue-ish satin silver. It also has icicle patterns on the transparent grille. The tyres are thin 175-size items to minimise air and roll resistance, while the rims are layered in design, with thin fins to give smooth air flow.

A number of exterior LED lights are also fitted on the outside, a notable one would be the Intention Indicator. Silver LED strip on the sides will shine red to signal pedestrians and cyclists that the vehicle is aware of their presence. An electronic display on the instrument that faces outwards can flash an “after you” to pedestrians, allowing them to cross.

Powering the EV is a “highly evolved” high capacity 60 kW battery. While no range has been disclosed, Nissan says that the vehicle in its entirety was designed to drive long distances. The IDS Concept also has Piloted Park that can be operated through mobile devices and wireless charging technology – drivers can entrust the parking and charging to the vehicle.