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Nissan unveils new Leaf – and new era

Nissan yesterday introduced the new Nissan Leaf, the next version of its zero-emission electric vehicle. The Leaf will now offer drivers a range of up to 400km and uses a 110kW motor.

The Nissan LEAF has been completely reinvented, combining greater range with a dynamic new design and advanced technologies*, representing Nissan’s technological leadership.

“The new Nissan LEAF drives Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the core brand strategy for Nissan’s future,” said Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer of Nissan. “The new Nissan LEAF, with its improved range, combined with the evolution of autonomous drive technology such as ProPILOT Park, and the simple operation of the e-Pedal, strengthens Nissan’s EV leadership as well as the expansion of EVs globally. It also has core strengths that will be embodied by future Nissan models.”

The most advanced e-powertrain

The new Nissan LEAF offers a range of 400 km, allowing drivers to enjoy a safer and longer journey. The new e-powertrain gives the new Nissan LEAF 110 kW of power output and 320 Nm of torque, improving acceleration and driver enjoyment.

Evolved autonomous drive technologies

The new LEAF features ProPILOT autonomous drive technology, used during single-lane driving on the highway.

It also offers ProPILOT Park. When activated, the car’s ProPILOT Park technology takes control of steering, acceleration, braking, shift-changing and the parking brake to automatically guide it into a parking spot. It enables the driver to park safely and simply, even when parallel parking.

e-Pedal to reduce stress

The new LEAF’s revolutionary e-Pedal technology transforms the way people drive. It lets drivers start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the car to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again. The reactiveness of the e-Pedal maximizes EV driving pleasure.

Exterior design: sleek silhouette and “cool tech attitude”

The new Nissan LEAF’s design includes a low, sleek profile that gives it a sharp, dynamic look. Along with excellent aerodynamics, the styling – from the sleek silhouette to the car’s “advanced expression” – evokes the exhilaration of driving an EV.

Familiar Nissan design features include the signature boomerang-shaped lamps and V-motion flow in the front. The flash-surface grille in clear blue and the rear bumper’s blue molding identify the car as a Nissan EV.

Interior design: premium ambience with a clean, relaxed, high-tech feeling

The new Nissan LEAF’s completely redesigned cabin is focused on the driver, featuring a front panel in the form of a “gliding wing.” It combines an excellent use of space with functionality.

The interior design creates a relaxed ambience and premium quality feel, due to carefully selected materials. Vibrant blue stitching in the seats, dashboard and steering wheel has been incorporated as a symbol of Nissan’s electric vehicles. The 7-inch, full-color (TFT) display has been redesigned to highlight key features, such as the Safety Shield technology power gauge and audio and navigation system information. Apple CarPlay has also been added.

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For customers who want more excitement and performance, Nissan will also offer a version with more power and longer range at a higher price in 2018 (timing may vary by market).

The new Nissan LEAF will go on sale Oct. 2 in Japan. The model is slated for deliveries in January 2018 in the U.S., Canada and Europe. It will be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.

2017 Nissan LEAF specifications (Japan model)

Specifications are based on the latest product information available at the time of release. Specifications for other regions will be announced at the start of sales.

2017 Nissan LEAF specifications (Japan model)
Specifications are based on the latest product information available at the time of release. Specifications for other regions will be announced at the start of sales.

Exterior
Overall length 4,480 mm
Overall width 1,790 mm
Overall height 1,540 mm
Wheelbase 2,700 mm
Track width front/rear 1,530-1,540 mm/1,545-1,555 mm
Minimum ground clearance 150 mm
Coefficient of drag 0.28 Cd
Tires 205/55R16 or 215/50R17
Cargo area (VDA) 435 L

 

Weight/capacity
Curb weight 1,490-1,520 kg
Capacity 5 passengers
Gross vehicle weight 1,765-1,795 kg

 

Battery  
Type Li-ion battery
Capacity 40 kWh

 

Electric motor  
Name EM57
Maximum output 110 kW (150ps)/3283~9795 rpm
Maximum torque 320 N・m (32.6kgf・m)/0~3283 rpm

 

Performance  
Cruising range 400km (JC08)
Charging time (normal charging) 16 hours (3 kW)
8 hours (6 kW)
Charging time from alert to 80% (quick charging) 40 minutes

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Two-thirds of adults ready for cars that drive themselves

The latest Looking Further with Ford Trends Report reveals that behaviour is changing across key areas of our lives

Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose, would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67 per cent of adults globally would opt for the self-driving car.

That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trend Report, released last week. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.

Change is not always easy, particularly when it is driven by forces beyond our control. In a global survey of 14 countries, Ford’s research revealed that 87 per cent of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change. And while 79 per cent of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.

“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered, and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “At Ford we are deeply focused on human-centric design and are committed to finding mobility solutions that help improve the lives of consumers and their communities. In the context of change, we have to protect what we consider most valuable – having a trusted relationship with our customers. So, we are always deliberate and thoughtful about how we navigate change.”

Key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:

Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change
Seven in 10 say that they are energised by change
87 per cent agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change
Eight in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good
45 per cent of adults globally report that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices
Seven out of 10 consumers agree that we should have a mandatory time-out from our devices

Click here to read more about the seven trends for 2019.

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At last, cars talk to traffic lights to catch ‘green wave’

By ANDRE HAINZLMAIER, head of development of apps, connected services and smart city at Audi.

Stop-and-go traffic in cities is annoying. By contrast, we are pleased when we have a “green wave” – but we catch them far too seldom, unfortunately. With the Traffic Light Information function, drivers are more in control. They drive more efficiently and are more relaxed because they know 250 meters ahead of a traffic light whether they will catch it on green. In the future, anonymized data from our cars can help to switch traffic lights in cities to better phases and to optimise the traffic flow.

In the USA, Audi customers have been using the “Time-to-Green” function for two years: if the driver will reach the lights on red, a countdown in the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display counts the seconds to the next green phase. This service is now available at more than 5,000 intersections in the USA, for example in cities like Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington D.C. In the US capital alone, about 1,000 intersections are linked to the Traffic Light Information function.

Since February, Audi has offered a further function in North America. The purpose of this is especially to enable driving on the “green wave”. “Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) shows to the driver in the ideal speed for reaching the next traffic light on green.

Both Time-to-Green and GLOSA will be activated for the start of operation in Ingolstadt in selected Audi models. These include all Audi e-tron models and the A4, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 to be produced from mid-July (“model year 2020”). The prerequisite is the “Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment” package and the optional “camera-based traffic sign recognition”.

Why is this function becoming available in Europe two years later than in the USA? 

The challenges for the serial introduction of the service are much greater here than, for example, in the USA, where urban traffic light systems were planned over a large area and uniformly. In Europe, by contrast, the traffic infrastructure has developed more locally and decentrally – with a great variety of traffic technology. How quickly other cities are connected to this technology depends above all on whether data standards and interfaces get established and cities digitalise their traffic lights.

On this project, Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). TTS prepares the raw data from city traffic management centres and transmits them to the Audi servers. From here, the information reaches the car via a fast Internet connection.

Audi is working to offer Traffic Light Information in further cities in Germany, Europe, Canada and the USA in the coming years. In the large east Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi and partners are testing networks between cars and traffic light systems in the context of a development project.

In future, Audi customers may be able to benefit from additional functions, for example when “green waves” are incorporated into the ideal route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models, when cruising up to a red traffic light, will make increased used of braking energy in order to charge their batteries. Coupled with predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC), the cars could even brake automatically at red lights.

In the long term, urban traffic will benefit. When cars send anonymised data to the city, for example, traffic signals could operate more flexibly. Every driver knows the following situation: in the evening you wait at a red light – while no other car is to be seen far and wide. Networked traffic lights would then react according to demand. Drivers of other automotive brands will also profit from the development work that Audi is carrying out with Traffic Light Information – good news for cities, which are dependent on the anonymised data of large fleets to achieve the most efficient traffic management.

In future, V2I technologies like Traffic Light Information will facilitate automated driving. 

A city is one of the most complex environments for an autonomous car. Nevertheless, the vehicle has to be able to handle the situation, even in rain and snow. Data exchange with the traffic infrastructure can be highly relevant here. 

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