For the most part, Nissan has the EV game down pat, as the Leaf so happens to be one of the few EVs that is both affordable and has a range that is useful for most commuters. One thing Nissan has lacked, however, is much of a presence in the autonomous-driving arena. With the introduction of the new Nissan IDS Concept, however, the automaker is showing that it is preparing for the next big step in the automotive world.
The IDS showed its face at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show, and with it came a slew of videos that show it in action and all of its awesome features. The first, and most striking thing about the IDS is its Leaf-like shape. Despite its similarities, the IDS shares very little with its modern-day EV equivalent, as it has a carbon-fiber body and a low-slung roofline to help improve EV range.
Speaking of range, this concept makes use of a 60 kWh battery pack. This should be enough for somewhere around 150 miles of range by today’s standards, but by the 2020s, which is when Nissan expects the tech to be ready, this could be enough juice to travel 300-plus miles. This range will be enhanced by way of wireless EV charging lanes that may be available when EVs become more prevalent.
Being an autonomous car, it easily speaks with other vehicles on the road to help guide itself and avoid other cars, but people pose another issue altogether. Sure, the IDS can sense when people are around, but the unpredictable nature of humans can be a little challenging. The IDS helps eliminate the guesswork by way of its message screens on the front and rear windshields that alert pedestrians and bicyclists of what the car intends to do.
Ford those of you who are worried that autonomous cars will kill the experience of driving, the IDS proves that this is not the case. Just kick it into manual mode, and you are at the helm, piloting this hatchback like any traditional car today. There are, however, sensors that monitor changing conditions at all times in manual mode and trigger the car to take evasive action when needed.
For now, the IDS remains just a concept, but Nissan made it no mystery that it is planning to develop all of this technology sometime in the 2020s. Stay tuned for more details.