Nissan to launch autonomous car in Japan in 2016

by Ernie Hernandez on April 3, 2015

Autonomous LEAF

Ghosn confirms at NYIAS

Nissan, having agreed on a five year development partnership with NASA on the development of autonomous vehicles, has confirmed that their first market to have the vehicle will be Japan next year according to comments by Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO, at the New York International Auto Show.

There is a very sound reason for all manufacturers, not just Nissan, to move toward the development of self-driving cars – over ninety percent of automobile accidents are the result of human error. Taking the human element out of the equation can cause a significant reduction in injuries and fatalities due to that element. Audi has already demonstrated their own self-driving at the Hockenheim racetrack in Germany (found here – jump to the :43 minute mark of the video to watch something really wild), and in a demonstration drive from Palo Alto to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

Automakers aren’t the only companies looking at developing the technology. Google has racked up almost 700,000 miles on their self-driving cars, and they are now looking to partner with auto manufacturers.

With all of this discussion of cars that drive themselves, we recall reading stories wondering what happens when there is a failure in a system onboard a self-driving car. My thought is that just as there are already fail-safes on many of today’s vehicles (which most consumers don’t even know about), these new vehicles will also have fail-safes built in. With over ninety percent of all automobile accidents the result of human error, it seems to me the question should be how soon can we get this technology on the road?

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LEAF 2.0?

by Ernie Hernandez on March 7, 2015

SWAY front three quarter 600

Did Nissan just show the second generation LEAF in Geneva?

Introduced as the Nissan SWAY at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show as a possible European crossover, this new small hatchback could easily fit into another role. My thought is that Nissan is previewing LEAF 2.0.

SWAY front view 600

Nissan has stated three design concepts that will make their vehicles recognizable as a Nissan anywhere in the world. The first is the V-Motion grill as seen above. While the overall width of the vehicle might need to be toned down a bit from this very aggressive look for fuel efficiency reasons, the basic statement looks good.

SWAY side view 600

Nissan introduced the floating-roof design on the 2015 Murano, and it will be seen on the 2016 Maxima due this summer. The blacked-out c-pillar theme carries over nicely to this small hatchback design.

SWAY rear three quarter 600

A third design element making Nissan’s stand out from the crowd are the boomerang style head- and/or tail-lights. Here we see them incorporated into the rear design of this mini-hatch. Introduced as a European crossover, it incorporates dual exhaust which we won’t see on the LEAF.

UPDATE: Finally, there is this: “With this new concept car for Geneva, we are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact hatchback segment,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

So… place a charge port behind the faux grille, remove the dual exhaust, and this could be very influential on the next LEAF design.

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CHAdeMO vs. SAE CCS vs. Tesla Supercharger

February 19, 2015
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Who is king of the mountain? While editing my last post, looking at the maps of DC quick chargers in Japan and in the United States, it made me wonder how the coverage would compare when evaluating the three standards available in the U.S. now. Using the plugshare.com site once again, here is a visual […]

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Are electric car charging stations taking over Japan?

February 17, 2015
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The real story is the quick chargers Many in the media lately have been writing about the recent announcement by a Nissan Japan corporate VP that there are more electric car charging stations in Japan than there are gas stations. It’s not much of a stretch to then move on to say that there are […]

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EV Infrastructure Grows

January 31, 2015
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ChargePoint seems to be the winner First Volkswagen and BMW announced the development of East and West Coast electric vehicle (EV) charge corridors. Then Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) stated that it would bring over 1,000 EV charge stations to its service area with Nissan’s help. ChargePoint, a manufacturer and network provider, is partnering […]

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Is $30,000 and 200 miles the new EV benchmark?

January 17, 2015
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Chevrolet Bolt misses that mark Chevrolet announced the Bolt concept electric car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a price of $30,000 and a driving range of 200 miles. The Bolt’s $30k price point is to be reached after incentives, which means that the vehicle price will be roughly $37,500. Elon […]

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LEAF vs. Prius – First 4 Years

January 9, 2015

EV beats Hybrid With Nissan just reporting LEAF sales for 2014 of 30,200, up 33 percent from 22,610 from 2013, I thought it would be a good time to revisit how the first four years of LEAF sales compared with the first four years of the Toyota Prius – the undisputed champion of the hybrid […]

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Health, Happiness, Serenity

January 1, 2015
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My wish for you It is with some amazement that I sit down here and type these words. It was back in 2010 when I first started writing about the upcoming Nissan LEAF. Always a seeker of knowledge wherever it is to be found, when I first learned of Nissan’s plans for a new electric car […]

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Fuel cell vehicles – current and future

December 6, 2014
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A look at fuel cell vehicles – viable or not? Electric vehicles (EVs) are not all the same. The Nissan LEAF is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) taking its power purely from an on-board battery. The Chevrolet Volt is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) using an onboard battery for motivation until the battery charge […]

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Renault-Nissan Alliance sells 200,000th EV globally

November 26, 2014
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Alliance has 58% market share In addition to great market share, Nissan and Renault electric vehicles (EVs) share another commonality – EVs have the highest customer satisfaction rate of all models offered by both brands, a great indicator of continued future success. Nissan has sold 148,700 EVs globally since the launch of the LEAF in […]

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