Nissan Increases Hybrid Production

Nissan Motor Co. has always been more interested in the developing electric vehicle technology and has left the production of hybrid vehicles to other car manufacturers, but that as hybrid become increasingly popular, Nissan has changed its stance.

Nissan has begun developing its first in-house front-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain and it will debut next year.  The Hybrid technology Nissan will develop will not be applied to hybrid-only vehicles like other car makers have done (i.e. Toyota Prius and Honda Insight), instead Nissan plans to apply the hybrid technology across its lineup.

Our aim is not how can we apply it to just a single vehicle, but extend it across the lineup as much as possible, as soon as possible,” said Mitsuhiko Yamashita, executive vice president for global research and development.

Nissan plans to roll out at least one new Hybrid vehicle a year for the foreseeable future, and with them will come roughly a 30 percent increase in fuel economy.  With stricter emission regulations coming in the near future and a heighten consumer demand, Nissan realizes the need to develop hybrid technology.

“All vehicles need some form of electrification,” Yamashita said. “Motor assistance is really key. Otherwise they can’t meet fuel economy requirements beyond 2015.”

Nissan Unveils Self-Driving Car

Nissan recently unveiled its first self-driving vehicle at the CEATEC (http://www.ceatec.com/2012/en/index.html) electronics show in Japan.  Dubbed the NSC-2015, the vehicle is able to drive through city streets or highways without the assistance of a driver.

A driver doesn’t even need to be in the car when the vehicle is in motion.  New integrative smartphone technology allows the owner of the NSC-2015 to control everything wirelessly.  The NSC-2015 can even drop the driver and his/her passengers off at the door, find a parking space and pick them up after they’ve finished a meal or completed their shopping trip.

“The vehicle looks for a vacant parking space while identifying its surroundings; once it detects an open parking space automated parking begins. The driver can also use smartphone commands to make the NSC-2015 vehicle leave the parking space and return to the place where he or she is,” says a Nissan spokesperson.

Although consumers won’t see self-driving cars on the road anytime soon, there are some technologies in the NSC-2015 that could be applied to other vehicles sooner.

An anti-theft system utilized panoramic cameras that are able to give the driver a live feed of what is going on outside their car.  If something or someone approaches the vehicle, the driver will be notified on their smartphone and they can then view the live feed and sound the alarm if necessary.

Nissan Taxi’s Find the ‘Perfect Yellow’

More work goes into yellow than people might think.  In fact, once Nissan won the bid to create New York’s new line of taxis it took the auto manufacturer about a year to find the perfect shade.

The 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi will soon be hitting New York as the City’s new taxi, and with 600,000 New Yorkers using taxis each day, it will soon become one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.  Nissan knew this and understood that selecting the right color would be paramount.

Initially, there was talk of going with a different color completely. “We actually started first to check and see if there was a chance to change from yellow to something else,” said Francois Farion, senior manager of color and design for Nissan, but the message from the “big apple” was clear- remain yellow.

The task then became to find the perfect shade.  Nissan’s team looked toward everyday objects like handbags, coffee mugs, umbrellas, etc… for inspiration, and soon the perfect shade was discovered.

“You have all of these yellows currently on New York taxis,” said Farion.  “We wanted to make it look slightly lighter and slightly fresher.”

After a year of yellow research, Nissan has found the shade they believe is “icon-worthy”.