Nissan Teases Advancement in Autonomous EV Driving Tech Ahead Of Ghosn’s Keynote In Las Vegas

6 months ago by Jay Cole 25

Earlier we heard from the CES press core (one of the largest consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshows going) that Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, would be giving a keynote speech on opening day – Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 at 5PM (PT) at the Westgate Theater in Las Vegas.

Nissan earlier introduced a driverless towing system at its Oppama Plant

Nissan earlier introduced a driverless towing system at its Oppama Plant

The topic ‘du jour’ was on electric vehicles and a “major technological breakthrough in the realization of a zero-emission, zero-fatality world for everyone”.

Says CES of the event:

“In his first appearance at CES, Ghosn will unveil a vision of the world made better by the latest automotive technology innovations. In his role as leader of The Renault-Nissan Alliance, one of the world’s largest automotive groups, Ghosn will share space-age advances that significantly alter our understanding of how our world will evolve.”

Now Nissan  has started to ramp up its own press machine for Ghosn’s appearance.

Earlier this week, we had a demonstration of first gen LEAFs hauling other new LEAFs around autonomously at the company’s Oppama assembly facility (see also video below), and now we are apparently going to see the next generation of Nissan’s vision for autonomy applied in Las Vegas, with CEO Ghosn doing the MC duties.  Nssan teases us to “see what is next” at CES.

“Nissan cars were the first to offer a 360° view of their surroundings in 2007. At CES 2017, we’re going to show you the future again.”

The company adds this sentiment…whatever it means.

“Nissan has always been a dreamer as well as a doer.”

Video (below): Nissan’s existing “Intelligent Vehicle Towing” program in Japan

Hat tip to Adrian!

Tags: , ,

25 responses to "Nissan Teases Advancement in Autonomous EV Driving Tech Ahead Of Ghosn’s Keynote In Las Vegas"

  1. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

    Looks like Leaf 2.0 is not on the agenda.

  2. Leafer says:

    Leaf 2 with Pro Pilot, do it Ghosn!

  3. Ike says:

    Nissan produces more vapor than any other car maker except VW. How about a 200 mile EV first then a self-driving car.g

    1. Jedlacks says:

      I cannot speak for all the current owners, but 200 miles is not an issue for the overwhelming majority. If I live 100 miles+ from work I will move. I have driven 200 miles in a day and that was covered with DCFC. Bumping it to 100+ and providing active cooling is more reasonable, and that is what I will hope for.
      The 200 mile threshold was created by the people that keep comparing the Leaf to the Volt.

      1. SparkEV says:

        That’s true except for the price. Leaf is now about 35K with DCFC, so that’s $27K post subsidy while Bolt with almost twice the range is only $3K more (less than 10%). 100’ish miles range EV at close to $30K makes little sense.

        But new 120 miles range FFE with DCFC will be $22K post subsidy, price point that does make sense (sort of). I doubt Nissan will drop the price for Leaf 2.0 to be less than Leaf 1.0, rather increase features (and maybe price) to compete against Bolt, etc.

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        While the 200 mile threshold is obviously a “rounded” value, it’s based on making BEVs viable as a high percentage of the number of vehicles sold.

        – BEV charging is slow
        – There is an overhead to each refueling event
        – For a given chemistry, rate of charge is proportional to capacity

        As a result short-range BEV cannot scale well because they would require too many charging sessions that take too long.

        The challenge that PEV needs to meet, is to lower public charging time and to reduce the number of miles of public charging required so that is feasible to meet transportation needs with a combination of public charging and clean, sustainable fuels. Long-range BEV could do this in a way that short-range cannot, because the high range increases the miles of trips covered by range, reduces the miles of charging required on trips beyond range, reduces the charging time per mile, and for additional convenience reduces the diversion time by reducing the number of charging stops.

        1. EVDrive says:

          Yes, 200 mile EV’s are so important for mass adoption. The demand for the model 3 proved that, which we already knew. Fast charring times are critical as well. In the winter cars do not run efficiently and most people need to blast a heater. A 200 mile car will easily go only 140 miles if you drive fast, blast the heater and the ambient temp near freezing. Bring on the Long Range EV’s. I Need one, as my current RAV4 EV only goes 130 miles in the summer and 100 or less miles in the winter at freeway speeds.

    2. Rich says:

      @Ike +1
      Nissan needs to focus on range first. Hopefully 200+ EPA rated miles are on the agenda. That and thermally managed batteries.

  4. stimpacker says:

    Gah stop dreaming and start doing already. Sick of all these little itty bitty press releases.

    1. Birger says:

      Nissan/Renault with Ghosn at the helm is by far the group doing most for 0 emission vehicles already. I think they are justified to dream a bit 😉

    2. Pete says:

      Nearly 400.000 EVs from the Ghosn alliance are on the road TODAY.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        Yes, I have 2 of them. The model is at least 5 years old and is getting pretty dated. Hence I am sick of these silly statements about Nissan’s battery tech, charging tech, driving tech. Show the new car come on.

        1. ColoradoEV says:

          Yep. The LEAF was really cool and cutting edge in December 2010. I remember getting the promotional materials in advance and drooling over them.

          The 2013 incremental improvements were a very nice package. 6.6kW charger, fixing lots of the little irritants, all good.

          The first battery a disappointment. The cover-up, the reluctant kinda-sorta replacement program, and the complete lack of information shockingly bad.

          Then … next to nothing. A 25% range improvement after 5 years – and not available for earlier versions of the car. Zero news on future plans.

          We didn’t expect them to be Tesla, not for a much lower price per car. But I also didn’t expect Nissan to be openly hostile to their EV customers. What a wasted opportunity.

  5. Just_Chris says:

    Is it just me or does the leaf in the towing video appear NOT to be front wheel drive? I’m not sure because it pulls away really slowly. That would be interesting I wonder if there is an AWD car capable of towing and driving autonomously at low speed on the horizon? That could be an interesting addition to the Nissan family….. well assuming it has a 60 kWh battery pack.

    1. Bernhard says:

      5 tons of trailer is on the heavy side for an EV that was not designed for towing. But I am 100% sure they did not invest in a 4WD Leaf for just this demo application, given the limited room between the rear wheels.

    2. Djoni says:

      Why would it be?
      It’s going very slow on a flat and sticky pavement with a cautious acceleration.
      No need for a better traction.
      The first pull in the video, you can see the car front lift a bit, like all front drive do.

      1. Terawatt says:

        Rear wheel drive lifts just the same. For the very simple reason that when the car accellates, the weight shifts backwards. Under braking the nose will dive, even though you’re braking on all four wheels. But it wouldn’t matter if you were braking with a sail or a magnet (pulling on all the metal in the whole car with a distributed force) – if it decelerates, the weight shifts forwards.

    3. SparkEV says:

      Even old Hyundai Elantra (FWD) was capable of towing 3086 lb.

      https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-10-vehicles-for-towing.html

      Leaf is for low speed and flat road. Even easier, the trailer puts almost no tongue weight; all the wheels are right under load.

      1. Terawatt says:

        Bah. You’re just used to your more powerful Spark – and if I were used to a Tesla I could say exactly the same about your car!

        LEAF is for 2010-2013. I still have a small hope they’ll finally show us the Gen II at CES, but I think they would need to bring something pretty amazing to market to interest me at this point. I am extremely annoyed with their complete refusal to tell their customers anything about what the future holds and their seeming readiness to let the early buyers regret having bought a Nissan.

        Oh well.

  6. Assaf says:

    Couldn’t care less about autonomous driving at this point.

    Being on our 2nd Leaf lease and 5th Leaf year cumulatively, I guess I speak for most people in a similar situation that I’ve seen the Leaf slide from being 1-2 years ahead of everyone else in the affordable-BEV game in term of range/charge – to falling behind at least 3 competitors including its own sibling the Zoe), with no clear timeline for catching up.

    My thinking has gone from “Ole Carlos is keeping his cards close once again” to “Maybe he’s got no cards?!”

    Any “keynote” lacking specifics on new range/charge rollouts, will be the very opposite of a keynote, no matter what autonomous-drive bells and whistles it promises.

    1. Jason says:

      Agree. Tesla is the only company committed to serious EV, all the others are paying lip service.

      60Kwh+ battery is just the new bar, every EV really needs to hit this bar, especially if they are still ~$35k.

      I read somewhere next Leaf could be using LG Chem, which indicates that Nissan has abandoned their in house battery technology?

      Even lack of any simple improvements Nissan indicates they are not serious about EV buyers. Simple things like ‘B’ mode and the SoC took too long to make their appearance, and the continued lack of settings in the touch screen interface tells me they really don’t know how to do this stuff right or really listen to their market.

      It’s even got a cell phone built in, but where is the find my car feature in their App? It’s really these little things that are going to influence buyers to vehicles moving forward. Tesla has is what is possible, and people just want more of that (range, good looks, features, etc).

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Jason said:

        “I read somewhere next Leaf could be using LG Chem, which indicates that Nissan has abandoned their in house battery technology?”

        There was a surprisingly public debate within Nissan over whether to keep making their own batteries, or to shutter their battery factories and buy LG’s new cheaper cells instead.

        Last I saw, Nissan had decided to keep making batteries in its own factories, but also buy some batteries from LG.

        There is speculation that Nissan will be switching to battery chemistry licensed from LG. We do know that LG Chem made a technology-sharing deal with Renault, Nissan’s partner.

        http://insideevs.com/renault-inks-battery-deal-lg-chem/

        http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/nissan-invests-%C2%A3265m-sunderland-battery-plant

      2. Terawatt says:

        Yeah, and very recently we got the news that Nissan, GM and all the rest of them have already begun trying to kill the emissions regulations following the election of Mr. Drumpf (he should be proud of his heritage, right?).

        If only there was a way to know that Tesla will manage to deliver the Model 3 on time, and either (a) without major quality problems or (b) be around to fix them. But as I see it, there isn’t. I’m in Norway and eager to replace my 2012 LEAF with a next-gen EV with lots more range. I’ve reserved a Model 3 – many hours before anyone in the US, thanks to time-zone advantage. And yet it seems I’d be lucky to get it before 2019. That’s an awful long time to wait when my neighbourhood is already full of Teslas, 300km i3s, and soon 300km e-Golfs, 400km ZOEs and 500km Ampera-e. The 2018 Ioniq will also be tempting, as will it’s sister Soul when it gets it battery upgrade. And many others before 2019 comes around. Should I really be bothered to wait that long AND run the risks? After all, IF Tesla doesn’t get it right, what are the chances that they will have the financial muscle to pull through and fix problems for owners? I don’t know. If I were rich it wouldn’t matter – I’d support Tesla (and drive an i3 meanwhile; S and X are simply too big (wide!) and impractical). But unless I win the lottery very soon, which is not very likely, especially since I usually don’t take part, I would simply be in trouble if I got a bad Model 3 and Tesla then went under…

        Right now there aren’t any tempting alternatives. The e-Golf and i3 are simply not competitive in 2017 IMO, the ZOE is poorly equipped (except the outstanding onboard charger), LEAF don’t make me LAUGH, Ioniq is an insult (until 2018, when it makes good sense), and Ampera-e is sold out for 2017.

        So I will be sitting on the fence a while longer. If the reveal part 3 turns out to be real, unlike the poor joke called part 2, maybe I can muster a little enthusiasm for Model 3 again. At least if they say something concrete about when it will come to Norway – in base or near-base configurations.

        Seems unlikely though. Car makers that don’t want to sell EVs are beating Tesla to market one after the other. Who would have thought it?

  7. Terawatt says:

    The more interesting thing here isn’t “it can drive itself”, but “it can tow!!!”