At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan’s head of research and development Mitsuhiko Yamashita said the Japanese automaker will introduce 15 new technologies a year.
“Up to now our most significant concern has been the environment,” Yamashita said.
However, safety is now being given at least equal priority, and there will also be a strong focus on performance.
The company’s safety specialists have been given the authority to impose changes to any new vehicle if they decide they are necessary, and their first developments will soon be filtering into production models.
One is an advance on the around view monitor already available on some Nissans. In future it will be able to identify whether the driver is on a highway or in a car park, and prevent full acceleration by accident in confined areas.
It can also detect movement in the driver’s blind spots, as found in lots of other cars. But one added feature is that it can sense the movement of pedestrians when reversing, and alert the driver.
Nissan is also working on a front-mounted radar system that can sense when the vehicle two cars ahead starts to brake, giving owners of its cars more time to avoid nose-to-tail shunts.
Yamashita says that Nissan will simultaneously concentrate on five key areas in powertrain development – diesel engines, smaller capacities, hybrids, electric cars and continuously variable transmissions – to bring about further reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.
“Nissan’s policy is not to concentrate on certain key technologies and ignore others,” he said. “We have 20,000 engineers worldwide working on lots of new technology, and we will prioritise market by market and segment by segment.”