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Nissan begins car-sharing

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Nissan Motor Co and the City of Yokohama are introducing a round-trip car sharing service featuring the Nissan New Mobility Concept, an ultra-compact electric vehicle.|Nissan Motor Co and the City of Yokohama are introducing a round-trip car sharing service featuring the Nissan New Mobility Concept, an ultra-compact electric vehicle.

The service, “Choimobi Yokohama,” enables users who register online to pick up and return cars in 14 locations around Yokohama Station. Cars can be reserved 30 minutes in advance and can be driven within the city.

The service costs 250 yen per 15 minutes plus a 200 yen basic charge, with a maximum daily charge of 3,000 yen. Users need a Japanese driver’s license, a smartphone and a Japan-issued credit card. Registration is available on the Choimobi website: https://nissan-rentacar.com/choimobi-yokohama/.

Nissan and the City of Yokohama previously conducted a two-year trial of Japan’s first one-way car sharing service using ultra-compact electric vehicles, starting in October 2013. The aim was to encourage low-emission transport options, improve the quality of transportation and promote tourism. In October 2015, the partnership began renting cars to local tour operators and businesses.

The new round-trip service is meant to further promote ultra-compact mobility and build a sustainable business model through public-private cooperation. The service will also include guided tours around central Yokohama and long-term car rentals for businesses.

Nissan and the City of Yokohama will continue usability and feasability studies by encouraging various local entities to join the program.

As the leader in zero-emission mobility, Nissan continues to seek ways to harness ultra-compact electric vehicles to improve transportation and the quality of life.

Outline of service:

  1. Implementing party: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Operator: Nissan Car Rental Solution Co., Ltd.
    (Car sharing system developer: Sage Co., Ltd.)
  2. Project duration: March 17, 2017, to March 2019
  3. Cars: 25 Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles
  4. Pick-up/drop-off locations (car stations): 14 locations around Yokohama Station (25 cars): Bay Quarter Yokohama (1), Yokohama Mitsui Building (2), Nissan Global Headquarters (3), Yokohama i-Mark Place (4), MinatoMirai Grand Central Tower (5), Yokohama Museum of Art (6), Mark IS Minatomirai (7), Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu (8), Yokohama Landmark Tower (9), Colette Mare (10), Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal (11), Yokohama City Hall (12), Yamashita Park parking lot (13), Yokohama City Vocational Development Center (14).
  5. Free private parking spaces: 12 locations (23 cars)
  6. Driving area: Within the city of Yokohama. The vehicles are restricted from driving on expressways and highways (with speed limits exceeding 60km/h).
  7. Usage charge: 200 JPY (basic charge) + 250 JPY/15 minutes; maximum charge 3,000 JPY/day.
  8. To use the service, enroll through the Choimobi website using a registered means of identification (valid Japan driver’s license, FeliCa-embedded transport IC card or smartphone). Registrants are required to watch a video featuring operating instructions and information on driving safety. Users must also have a valid Japanese driver’s license (for regular-size cars), a smartphone with e-mail, and a Japan-issued credit card. Additional details are available online.

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Porsche names e-car

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Series production of the first purely electric Porsche is set to begin next year. 

In preparation, the vehicle has now been given its official name: The “Mission E” concept study, the name currently used to describe Porsche’s complete electric offering, will be known as the Taycan. The name can be roughly translated as “lively young horse”, referencing the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest, which has featured a leaping steed since 1952. 

“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. The oriental name also signifies the launch of the first electric sports car with the soul of a Porsche. Porsche announced the name for its first purely electric series as part of the “70 years of sports cars” ceremony.

Two permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM) with a system output of over 600 hp (440 kW) accelerate the electric sports car to 100 km/h in well under 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under twelve seconds. This performance is in addition to a continuous power level that is unprecedented among electric vehicles: Multiple jump starts are possible in succession without loss of performance, and the vehicle’s maximum range is over 500 km in accordance with the NEDC.

Names with meaning 

At Porsche, the vehicle names generally have a concrete connection with the corresponding model and its characteristics: The name Boxster describes the combination of the boxer engine and roadster design; Cayenne denotes fieriness, the Cayman is incisive and agile, and the Panamera offers more than a standard Gran Turismo, which is what allowed it to win the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race. The name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, with connotations of suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics.

Future investment doubled 

Porsche plans to invest more than six billion euro in electromobility by 2022, doubling the expenditure that the company had originally planned. Of the additional three billion euro, some 500 million euro will be used for the development of Taycan variants and derivatives, around one billion euro for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million for the expansion of production sites, plus around 700 million euro for new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.

Extensive modifications at tHQ 

At the Porsche headquarters in Zuffenhausen, a new paint shop, dedicated assembly area for the Taycan and a conveyor bridge for transporting the painted bodies and drive units to the final assembly area are currently being constructed. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drives and the body shop will also be developed. Investment is also planned for the Weissach Development Centre. Production of the Taycan is creating around 1,200 new jobs in Zuffenhausen alone.

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Autonomous goes off-road

Jaguar Land Rover is developing autonomous cars capable of all-terrain, off-road driving in any weather condition. 

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The CORTEX project will take self-driving cars off-road, ensuring they are fully capable in any weather condition: dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog. As part of the project, a “5D” technique combining acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time is being engineered. Access to this combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in. Machine-learning enables the self-driving car to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way, allowing it to handle any weather condition on any terrain.

“It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers,” said Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover.

“Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation. CORTEX gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realise this vision in the near future.”

Jaguar Land Rover is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of the level of automation, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This project forms part of the company’s vision to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.

CORTEX will develop the technology through algorithm development, sensor optimisation and physical testing on off-road tracks in the UK. The University of Birmingham, with its world leading research in radar and sensing for autonomous platforms and Myrtle AI, machine learning experts, join the project. CORTEX was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March 2018.

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