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Nissan unveils Formula E-Prix car

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At the Geneva Motor Show Nissan unveiled its all electric ABB FIA Formula E race car – scheduled to be seen on circuits towards the end of the year.

The acceleration of electrification was the key theme at the Nissan stand during this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Taking center stage was the world premiere of the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E Championship race car, seen in its concept livery for the first time. The car will make its city circuit debut at the start of the 2018/19 season later this year.

Also featured was the all-electric, zero-emission new Nissan LEAF. One new Nissan LEAF is being ordered in Europe every 12 minutes, making it the region’s fastest-selling electric vehicle. More than 19,000 orders have been placed for the car across Europe.

The new Nissan LEAF is the icon of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision. It is spearheading the brand’s drive to create a more exciting, confident and connected society.

Technologies that made their European debut on the LEAF are already being rolled out across Nissan’s range of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Nissan’s innovative ProPILOT advanced driver assistance technology will be available on Europe’s best-selling crossover – the Nissan Qashqai – from this month.

And the LEAF’s 40kWh battery is now available on the e-NV200 van, increasing its range by 60% with no reduction in load-carrying capability.

The LEAF is delivering the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision today, and the brand is already working towards what consumers will demand tomorrow.

Nissan has confirmed that under its new Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan, it will offer electrified powertrains within the next generation of its best-selling crossovers. It is a pioneering initiative that will further extend consumer choice.

Also for the future is the Nissan IMx KURO, a concept vehicle that showcases Nissan’s leadership in both electric vehicles and crossovers. The model has been updated since its Tokyo Motor Show debut and now features Nissan’s pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology.

The brand also highlighted how Nissan Intelligent Mobility is going beyond the vehicle with an integrated electric ecosystem. A new strategic partnership between Nissan and energy company E.ON has been announced. The collaboration will explore opportunities on pilot activities and commercial offers related to vehicle-to-grid services, renewable energy generation and storage solutions, as well as grid integration for Nissan electric vehicle customers.

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Why sports cars make us feel good

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Forget romance, fine dining or an epic boxset binge – new preliminary research reveals that driving a sports car on a daily basis is among the best ways to boost your sense of wellbeing and emotional fulfilment.

The study measured “buzz moments” – peak thrills that play a vital role in our overall wellness – as volunteers cheered on their favourite football team, watched a gripping Game of Thrones episode, enjoyed a passionate kiss with a loved one or took an intense salsa dancing class. Only the occasional highs of riding a roller coaster ranked higher than the daily buzz of a commute in a sports car.

Working with neuroscientists and designers, Ford brought the research to life with the unique Ford Performance Buzz Car: a customised Ford Focus RS incorporating wearable and artificial intelligence technology to animate the driver’s emotions in real time across the car’s exterior. 

Watch the video here https://youtu.be/AFpt6jziFsU

“A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it’s not great for getting you to work every day,” said Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology. “This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B – it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine.”

Study participants who sat behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS, Focus ST or Mustang experienced an average of 2.1 high-intensity buzz moments during a typical commute; this compared with an average of 3 buzz moments while riding on a roller coaster, 1.7 while on a shopping trip, 1.5 each while watching a Game of Thrones episode or a football match, and none at all while salsa dancing, fine dining or sharing a passionate kiss. 

For the research, Ford took one Focus RS and worked with Designworks to create the Buzz Car:

From concept, design and installation to software development and programming, the Buzz Car took 1,400 man-hours to create. Each “buzz moment” experienced by the driver – analysed using a real-time “emotional AI” system developed by leading empathic technology firm Sensum – produces a dazzling animation across almost 200,000 LED lights integrated into the car. The Buzz Car also features:

  • High-performance Zotac VR GO gaming PC
  • 110 x 500-lumen daylight-bright light strips
  • 82 display panels with 188,416 individually addressable LEDs

Driver state research

Researchers at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany are already looking into how vehicles can better understand and respond to drivers’ emotions. As part of the EUfunded ADAS&ME project, Ford experts are investigating how in-car systems may one day be aware of our emotions – as well as levels of stress, distraction and fatigue – providing prompts and warnings, and could even take control of the car in emergency situations.

“We think driving should be an enjoyable, emotional experience,” said Dr Marcel Mathissen, research scientist at Ford of Europe. “The driver-state research Ford and its partners are undertaking is helping to lead us towards safer roads and – importantly – healthier driving.”

Activity Buzz Moments *
Roller Coaster 3
Driving 2.1
Shopping 1.7
Game of Thrones 1.5
Football Game 1.5
Kissing 0
Salsa Dancing 0
Dining 0

* Average number of high-intensity buzz moments per participant

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Car that sees round corners

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Jaguar Land Rover is leading a £4.7 million (approximately R79 million) project to develop self-driving cars that can ‘see’ at blind junctions and through obstacles.

Britain’s biggest carmaker is leading a project called AutopleX to combine connected, automated and live mapping tech so more information is provided earlier to the self-driving car. This enables automated cars to communicate with all road users and obstacles where there is no direct view, effectively helping them see, so they can safely merge lanes and negotiate complex roundabouts autonomously.

Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover said: “This project is crucial in order to bring self-driving cars to our customers in the near future. Together with our AutopleX partners, we will merge our connected and autonomous research to empower our self-driving vehicles to operate safely in the most challenging, real-world traffic situations. This project will ensure we deliver the most sophisticated and capable automated driving technology.”

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

AutopleX will develop the technology through simulation and public road testing both on motorways and in urban environments in the West Midlands. Highways England, INRIX, Ricardo, Siemens, Transport for West Midlands and WMG at the University of Warwick join the AutopleX consortium, which was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March 2018.

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