Nissan Dedicated to Autonomous Vehicles and ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’

Nis­san has tak­en on two research and devel­op­ment projects that should be of inter­est to fleets – launch­ing an autonomous vehi­cle in 2020 and con­tribut­ing to New York’s ‘Taxi of Tomor­row’ pro­gram. The automak­er says it’s lever­ag­ing 80 years of tech­ni­cal prowess and inno­va­tion in new effort to rev­o­lu­tion­ize vehi­cle chas­sis and design for its Autonomous Dri­ve vehi­cles; and the Nis­san taxi fea­tures more con­tent tai­lored specif­i­cal­ly to the unique needs of New York City cab ser­vice than ever before, the com­pa­ny says.

The announce­ments recall the 2007 state­ment made by the com­pa­ny that it would bring a zero emis­sion, all-elec­tric car (the Leaf) to mar­ket by 2010. They wouldn’t just be plug-in cars, but depend­able, mod­er­ate­ly priced EVs in dif­fer­ent styles and seg­ments. Nis­san seems to be striv­ing for anoth­er inno­v­a­tive role in the upcom­ing driverless/autonomous vehi­cle space.

Nis­san says it will be ready with mul­ti­ple, . Nis­san announced that the company’s engi­neers have been car­ry­ing out inten­sive research on the tech­nol­o­gy for years, along­side teams from the world’s top uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing MIT, Stan­ford, Oxford, Carnegie Mel­lon and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo. Work is already under­way in Japan to build a ded­i­cat­ed autonomous dri­ving prov­ing ground, to be com­plet­ed by the end of fis­cal year 2014.

Laser scan­ners, Around View Mon­i­tor cam­eras, as well as advanced arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and actu­a­tors, have been installed in Nis­san Leafs to enable them to nego­ti­ate com­plex real-world dri­ving sce­nar­ios. Nissan’s autonomous dri­ving tech­nol­o­gy is an exten­sion of its Safe­ty Shield, which mon­i­tors a 360-degree view around a vehi­cle for risks, offers warn­ings to the dri­ver and takes action if nec­es­sary.

Pro­duc­tion of the Nis­san NV200 Taxi – New York’s “Taxi of Tomor­row” – is now under­way. , to suit the spe­cif­ic demands of the more than 600,000 peo­ple who ride in New York City taxi­cabs every day. In 2011, after a com­pet­i­tive two-year selec­tion process, the Taxi and Lim­ou­sine Com­mis­sion (TLC) of New York City select­ed Nis­san NV200 as the exclu­sive taxi for the city.

Stan­dard inte­ri­or fea­tures and pas­sen­ger ameni­ties include:

  • Ample room for four pas­sen­gers and their lug­gage, offer­ing sub­stan­tial improve­ments over cur­rent taxi mod­els
  • Trans­par­ent roof pan­el, pre­sent­ing unique views of the city
  • Breath­able, antimi­cro­bial, envi­ron­ment-friend­ly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fab­ric, sim­u­lat­ing the look and feel of leather
  • Proven 2.0L 4-cylin­der pow­er­train, engi­neered to enhance the emis­sion per­for­mance and fuel effi­cien­cy of the taxi fleet
  • 150,000 mile pow­er­train war­ran­ty
  • A low-annoy­ance horn with exte­ri­or lights that indi­cate when the vehi­cle is honk­ing, so the horn is used less fre­quent­ly
  • Front and rear-seat occu­pant cur­tain airbags, and seat-mount­ed airbags for the front row
  • Stan­dard trac­tion con­trol and Vehi­cle Dynam­ic Con­trol
  • Slid­ing doors to lessen risk of pedes­tri­ans, cyclists and oth­er motorists get­ting struck by doors open­ing unex­pect­ed­ly
  • Lights that alert oth­er road users that taxi doors are open­ing
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