By Marzella Sigai
An electric car with smooth four-wheel drive and a virtual friend for the coming age of automated driving are among the technology in development from Nissan.
The Japanese automaker, eager to leave behind the scandal over its former star executive Carlos Ghosn, recently invited reporters to see several of its test models.
The newly developed “all-wheel-control” technology of Nissan’s electric vehicle delivers a sense of greater control, driver confidence and real safety, according to Nissan, which demonstrated how the model zipped sharply on turns and skidded less on wet surfaces, showing super-quick responses.
It also minimizes shaking in stop-and-go situations because it more smoothly balances the force usually accompanying such moves to those riding in the vehicle. The electric four-wheel drive also promises more exhilarating driving.
Other technology that Nissan officials showed was for what it called a “safety shield” concept of 360-degree monitoring by a vehicle, to intervene when drivers make mistakes, such as accelerating when they should be braking.
Nissan said the technology can help attain its goal of zero fatalities in its vehicles.
But, preparing for a future when cars might be allowed to drive themselves, Nissan showed virtual companions like holograms of animated characters that pop up in a car to keep drivers company.
A headset has to be worn to see the characters, who were controlled remotely by people wearing headsets and other gadgetry.