<p><strong><em>Photo of Nissan IDS Concept car courtesy of Nissan.</em></strong></p>

VIDEO: Nissan Intelligent Mobility

Nissan Motor Co. on Oct. 28 unveiled a concept vehicle that showcases the company’s evolving autonomous drive technology, dubbed “Nissan Intelligent Driving,” as well as new electric vehicle technology.

The automaker introduced the IDS Concept vehicle, a hatchback, at the Tokyo Motor Show. The car combines advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with artificial intelligence (AI).

“Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver’s ability to see, think and react,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and CEO. “It compensates for human error, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents. As a result, time spent behind the wheel is safer, cleaner, more efficient and more fun.”

The company stressed that Nissan Intelligent Driving allows drivers to personalize self-driving functions. Even when the driver selects “piloted drive” and turns over driving to the vehicle, the car’s performance – from accelerating to braking to cornering – imitates the driver’s own style and preferences.

In “manual drive” mode, the driver has control. But behind the scenes, the Nissan IDS Concept continues to provide assistance. Sensors continually monitor conditions, and assistance is available even while the driver is in control. In the event of imminent danger, the Nissan IDS Concept will assist the driver in taking evasive action, Nissan said.

The Nissan IDS Concept’s long wheelbase enables enough seating space for four adults. But the cabin becomes even more spacious when the driver selects “piloted drive.” In this mode, the steering wheel recedes into the center of the instrument panel and a large flat screen comes out. AI, voice and gestures from the driver handle various driving-related operations.

“In every situation, it is about giving the driver more choices and greater control. And the driver will remain the focus of our technology development efforts,” Ghosn said at the show.

To view a Nissan video depicting the company’s vision for future intelligent mobility, click on the photo or link below the headline.

In a related matter, Nissan also began testing its first prototype vehicle that demonstrates piloted drive on both highway and city streets. The prototype vehicle made its public debut Oct. 29 in Yokohama, Japan.

The car will be tested in actual traffic conditions to further develop Nissan Intelligent Driving for public use. Based on the Nissan LEAF electric car, this vehicle is equipped with such features as millimeter-wave radar, laser scanners, cameras, high-speed computer chips, and a specialized HMI (human machine interface).

Nissan has developed two new technologies that can make piloted drive possible on city streets, the automaker said. The first is the miniature, high-spec laser scanner. Currently in its prototype stages, the laser scanner determines the distance between the vehicle and its surroundings through the use of precise three-dimensional measurement that enables the vehicle to navigate routes in tight spaces.

The other new technology is an eight-way, 360-degree view camera system that allows for accurate routing decisions when driving through intersections and sharp curving roads. The new prototype vehicle possesses both of these features, facilitating travel through complex traffic environments.

Ultimately, Nissan Intelligent Driving will be introduced in stages, the company said.

For Stage One, Nissan will offer “Piloted Drive 1.0” by the end of 2016 in Japan. Piloted Drive 1.0 allows for autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions. By 2018, the company hopes to implement a multiple-lane piloted drive that can conduct lane changes on highways. And by 2020, a new technology will be introduced that allows vehicles to successfully manage city streets, including intersections, autonomously.