The company unveiled on Tuesday fresh safety technologies that likely will be deployed as early as 2013, with Nissan engineers planning to fit the added protection features to the luxurious Infiniti lines.
The innovations, designed to minimise at best vehicle accidents, essentially pave the way for upcoming cars "to becoming an extension of robots," Nissan engineer Tetsuya Iijima told Reuters yesterday.
Safety, as far as Nissan is concerned, should not only come automatically with modern cars but also act proactively, meaning carmakers must be few steps ahead to possibly avert collisions, which at times proved fatal.
Nissan is introducing a leapfrog approach by way of advancements in car safety technology, Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's executive vice president, told The New York Times during the company's new briefing in Tokyo on Tuesday.
He pointed to plans by Nissan to replace hydraulics power-steering in some Infiniti models by next year with a steering management mechanism that is completely electronically powered.
And what is superior about the new technology? Nissan said it fuses the best of human driving capabilities and ditches as well errors that normally open up some windows for accidents to occur.
With the technology in place, "sensations of bumpy roads get mitigated and steering becomes super-quick and fine-tuned," the Japanese carmaker told the NY Times.
Likewise, humans will not be completely bumped off from the driver's seat, as they remain the navigator using a joystick that will transmit instructions to a computer governing the movements of the front wheels, Nissan engineer Masaharu Satou told Reuters.
"In the future ... we would be able to place the steering wheel wherever we like, such as in the back seat, or it would be possible to steer the car with a joystick," Mr Satou explained.
Nissan will still install mechanical clutch alongside with the cutting-edge technology, chiefly acting as a fail-safe for the car to resort to in the event of a meltdown on the computer system running the mechanism, which the company said is highly unlikely.
To complement the new safety feature is another system that Nissan engineers said safeguard vehicles from hitting pedestrians or another car while running on the road.
Aided by radars, laser scanners and camera, cars with the system will have the ability steer away from trouble by automatically slamming the brakes and then swerving into a free zone should it detects possible collision.
However, this particular safety tool, Mr Yamashita said is not yet perfect and will not be ready for street use until the next three to five years.
Future safety additions for upcoming Nissan product lines would guide drivers for smoother parking experience, with one system still on development to perform driver-less parking, the company said.
In essence, these safety-centric technologies, which should become reality soon, are retooling cars as sort of companion robots for humans, in which they have control of "its hands and feet, as well as the eyes and the brain," Mr Iijima said.
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