At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan have shown off a new concept car call the IDS. This is much more than your typical concept car that spends years on the motor show circuit before finally being watered down ahead of a consumer launch. The IDS concept opens the door into how Nissan engineers think about the future of transportation.
First off, the car would be fully electric, like many other, they’ve realised that a zero emission future is not only possible, but it’s the best alternative to fossil fuels. The futuristic design also serves to streamline the airflow and aerodynamics over the vehicle.
The most impressive thing about the IDS concept happens when we look inside the vehicle. Nissan shows off two drive modes, automatic (PD- Pilot drive mode) and manual drive modes. Nissan is aiming to make driving a choice, there when you want to, but not if you don’t.
At the press of a button, the concept would actually fold the steering wheel away and present you with a series of displays that allows you access to information and entertainment like your social networks. To improve the cabin experience, Nissan also suggests their seats would rotate inwards to enable better conversation, although doesn’t go as far as Mercedes Benz who think the chairs should completely turn around.
While Tesla already ship vehicles that can autopilot itself down a highway, Nissan say they are working on driverless technology that will work on both highway and city driving. For those that love driving, the IDS would enhance the experience with an augmented display that could present the optimal driving line, much like we see in video games.
A new concept for the exterior is an ‘intent indicator’ that lets pedestrians know the car sees them. There’s even a cheeky display that says ‘after you’ which I really hope would be user configurable.
The vehicle would use a combination of radar, laser scanners and cameras to build a picture of the environment around it. Nissan’s concept features 5 radar sensors, 5 laser scanners and 12 cameras that are all strategically positions. These cameras leverage software algorithms to recognise objects, then safely navigate them.
While it’s only a concept at this stage.. 2020 isn’t far away.. when our roads are likely to start looking very, very different.
Nissan have another video that shows a little more of their concept, this one features a section where the car is accessible via the mobile phone. The theory here is that the vehicle would emerge from its charging point in a parking bay and greet you at the door. This will be neat if they can pull it off, but for vehicles to move without any driver behind the wheel will face some legal hurdles.
The more auto manufacturers that want to achieve this feature and the more drivers that demand it will expedite the process of overcoming those legal challenges.