Nissan IDS concept, unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, is taking the next step towards a future with zero fatalities in vehicle crashes and zero emissions. The zero fatalities in crashes comes courtesy of a fully autonomous driving mode. Simply press a button and watch your small steering wheel fold into the dashboard to reveal a smiley computer face and a giant information screen that spans the entire dash. You have to watch the video from Nissan that shows this transformation (see below).
Nissan says that the auto-pilot will retain driving characteristics of the driver when in autonomous mode. Naturally, it will still obey all laws on the way towards the goal of zero fatalities. The IDS concept employs radar, lasers, and cameras to observe the world and enable it to drive itself. The driver can regain control of the car with a push of another button.
The zero emissions part is enabled by electricity. Nissan is continuing on a path of battery-powered electric vehicles that it already knows a lot about with the Nissan Leaf. The concept uses carbon fiber construction to reduce weight and increase driving range from its 60 kWh battery pack.
Autonomous driving and longer range EV technologies will be available in one or more production Nissan model by 2020, according to Nissan.
Whenever I see the tear-drop shape of a recent futuristic concepts, I cannot help to think of the 1993 movie – Demolition Man, starring Sylvester Stallone. The overall shape and the collapsing steering wheel of the autonomous police cars in the movie are very similar to the concepts we see today. And the movie was made more than 22 years ago.
Also, refer to the Mercedes F 015 concept from earlier this year. Once again the shape and the technology direction are similar.
Check out the autopilot steering wheel folding action and all the other cool features of the Nissan IDS in this video.