We were very impressed last year when Nissan unveiled the IDS concept at a preview of the Tokyo Motor Show. At the time, the company described the concept as the embodiment of its vision for electric vehicles and self-driving cars going forward. This week, the company featured the concept at the Geneva Motor Show to announce what it calls its “Intelligent Mobility” vision.
Vision aside, the IDS concept features several technologies expected to make it into Nissan’s cars in the near future, especially its 60 kWh battery pack, which is expected to be featured in the next generation LEAF, and its Piloted Drive on the autonomous front, which should be available later this year in Japan and in Europe in 2017.
Piloted Drive is similar to Tesla’s Autopilot, which can be best described as an advanced driver assist system that can enable autonomous driving under specific conditions. Like Tesla’s current generation Autopilot, Nissan’s first Piloted Drive will not enable fully autonomous driving. The company doesn’t expect the technology to be available until 2020.
Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales at Nissan, on the company’s autonomous driving strategy:
“Autonomous technologies have been part of our R&D activities for a long time, we’ve done extensive and ongoing on-road testing since 2013. This verified the integrity and versatility of Nissan’s Piloted Drive engineering in real-world scenarios. Our autonomous technology is additive to the driving experience you have today, offering more enjoyable driving and less stress.”
Nissan is already working on the user experience for fully autonomous vehicles and the IDS concept got an interesting transition system from manual driving to self-driving:
Battery pack aside, the IDS’ design could also offer some clues of what to expect for the much-needed LEAF refresh.
The Japan-based automaker reiterated its commitment to battery-powered vehicles and said to expect more mass market models by the end of the decade.
Here’s a gallery of the IDS concept at the Geneva Motor Show: