Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
IDS Concept – Nissan’s take on autonomous driving
At the last Tokyo Motorshow, Nissan unveiled the IDX concept. It was a pretty cool little homage to the old Datsun 510, despite being front-wheel driven and packing a continuously variable transmission. Development for that car bounces back and forth between being set and being shelved, but this year Nissan is bringing out something a little different.
It’s pretty clear that Nissan is heavily influenced by whatever trend is on the market at the time. The IDX came about when there was a resurgence of “driver’s cars”, what with the Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 beginning to strike a chord with the market. But the flavour of the year is autonomous driving and electric vehicles, and it was only fitting that Nissan use these two aspects to develop their concept model.
It’s a car that touts being autonomous, while still offering manual control if the driver demands it. It’s very Minority Report or I, Robot in a sense that the manual control system collapses on itself when not in use, freeing up space for the driver. The seat rotate inwards for a slightly more social feeling. And like most modern cars, there’s a number of safety features to keep the car on course if it detects the driver is on the verge of losing control.
And yet, there’s an AI-esque system that turns the car into something similar to a smart house. It greets occupants, talks toe the driver, and ultimately functions like a giant sentient operating system. There’s a very Japanese vibe to it that is seemingly absent in the German takes on autonomous driving, which aims to keep it close to the classical form of driving.
With a carbon fibre body and a 60 kwH battery, the IDS is designed to go far- although whether this can be maintained through to the production floor is something that remains to be seen. In autonomous mode, Nissan hopes that the car will be able to reduce road accidents by taking driver error out of the equation- although as we’ve seen before, there are some ethical issues that present themselves in unexpected high-risk situations.