Nissan presents solutions to transform the way we live and drive

By Charles E. Buban Philippine Daily Inquirer April 04,2019

When it comes to autonomous driving, most people think they should relinquish control to the machines—a very impersonal vision of the future. For Nissan however, it should be the other way around although there will be more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.


Dr. Maarten Sierhuis, chief technology officer at the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley, explained that humans—the drivers—still need to form the center of car and future technology interactions.


“We can think, we can sense, we can act. And this is what cars need to do as well. Autonomous driving is about how human systems and cars interact. Show me a system without humans, and I show you a useless system,” explained Sierhuis during the 7th edition of Nissan Futures held in Hong Kong last month.


Nissan Futures is a thought leadership event is held in conjunction with the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix race (Formula E) and gathers key leaders to discuss changing mobility needs and the future of cities in Asia and Oceania.


“Nissan is proud to provide the platform for discussing mobility trends at Nissan Futures 2019. With increasing pressure on our cities from urbanization and congestion, collaboration between public and private parties is essential to keep our societies liveable. As the leader in electrification, we are committed to continue to accelerate the adoption of electrified mobility in Asia and Oceania to help transform the way we drive, but also the way we live,” said Yutaka Sanada, regional senior vice president for Nissan Asia & Oceania.


Under the theme “Transform the way we drive and live”, the 7th Nissan Futures event also tackled how vehicles could become mobile energy units—a means to power homes and return energy to the grid and not just a mode of transportation.


“Would cars be treated differently if they were seen as an energy asset first, and a transportation method second?” said Tim Washington founder of JET Charge Australia, panelist on the “Transform the way we live: Future of Cities” portion of the event.


Nicholas Thomas, global director of Nissan’s electric vehicle division, proposed that electrification of mobility could be a solution to energy market disruption. He showcased how EV batteries can be used on a larger scale to power homes, office and the grid.


During the event, Nissan announced that the new Nissan LEAF will go on sale in Indonesia and the Philippines by 2020, underscoring Nissan’s commitment to drive electrification in the region.


The new Nissan LEAF is an all-electric five-passenger, five-door compact hatchback that is the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car. Powered by an 80kW electric motor and 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack, Nissan LEAF is able to travel approximately 161 kilometers on a charge.


The expanded availability of Nissan LEAF is an important part of Nissan’s goal to electrify 25 percent of its sales volume under its midterm plan, Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022. Nissan also announced it is working on making electrification of mobility more accessible through electrification components assembly and localization in key Southeast Asian markets.


Zero accident future


Another issue discussed during the event was how creating zero accidents and safety should remain as the main driver behind technology innovations.


Panelist Iim Fahima from Queenrides in Indonesia says smart mobility can improve society in many ways but the primary objective should be to reduce death and injury. “Road accidents are a big global issue, every 25 seconds one person dies so we need an integrated solution with the primary objective to reduce road deaths.”


An estimated 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes each year, and as many as 50 million are injured. If present trends continue, road traffic injuries are predicted to be the third-leading contributor to the global burden of disease and injury by 2020.

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