RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: Driver Assistance Systems trickle down with Nissan
Nissan has announced that it is to include advanced safety systems on the new Note and is claiming that it is first-in-segment.
Described as the Nissan Safety Shield, the company claims that it is the first to include such systems - blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection as well as Nissan's 'around view monitor' - on a small car.
Radar-based safety technologies such as advance collision warning and blind-spot detection are becoming commonplace as optional equipment on new C-segment vehicles.
This announcement from Nissan chimes with our interviews with TRW and Ficosa earlier this week. While we have seen multi-function cameras on the high-end and medium segment cars for some time, such technology is indeed permeating down to the low-end in Europe.
An executive from TRW told us: “Multi-function cameras have already penetrated down to mass market C-segment vehicles in Europe, and are expected to migrate further downwards in the next five years, potentially driven by EuroNCAP and future regulations. Obviously the A and B segments are the most price-sensitive, but at the same time smaller and lighter vehicles that are more vulnerable in a crash can also benefit the most from crash avoidance technologies, and OEMs could potentially use this as a safety differentiator in this segment.”
We also talked with Ficosa earlier this week around this area. Just looking back, say 3-4 years ago at what was predicted in terms of the application of camera-based technologies, those predictions have come true in terms of the pace of technology permeating down the car segments. An executive from Ficosa told us: “In the meantime, we are seeing low- and mid-class cars are equipped with ADAS and especially with camera systems, e.g. the VW Golf is offered with a choice of 12 ADAS systems. The legislation is also pushing in the same direction, e.g. EU-NCAP.”
Nissan is set to revolutionise the small car segment and once again prove its credentials as a technological trailblazer with its newest innovation - the Nissan Safety Shield.
Nissan's commitment to innovation, style and excitement has produced some of the most talked-about cars in recent years. And now, following in the tracks of the ground-breaking Qashqai and Juke, the new Note sets the standard for advanced, relevant technology in an affordable small car package. The Note features intelligent, relevant features useful in day-to-day driving, allowing drivers to feel safer and more secure at all times.
With cities across Europe continuing to battle with congestion and road traffic accidents claiming around 34,000 lives each year and leaving more than 1.1 million people injured, Nissan has committed itself to making safety technologies more accessible - Nissan Safety Shield plays a key part in this process. This new technology will be making its global segment debut on the Nissan Note to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 2013 and will be in showrooms from the autumn.
The all-new Nissan Note brings together the high-end technology usually found in premium, luxury models to the small car sector for the first time, setting new standards for affordability and continuing a proud tradition of revolutionising the various sectors that Nissan's vehicles come under - from the all-electric Leaf all the way to the mighty GT-R supercar.
The Nissan Safety Shield is made up of three advanced safety systems - blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection - and, combined with Nissan's around view mirror, provides optimum protection not only for the car's occupants, but crucially for those outside of the car. With these systems working together, the Nissan Safety Shield can alert drivers to objects moving behind the car (for example, a child walking towards you when reversing); indicate when a vehicle is in the driver's blind spot so the driver can take avoiding action and can detect when a car is drifting out of its lane.
Etienne Henry, vice president for Nissan strategy and product planning in Europe commented: "The all-new Note presented our engineers with a fascinating challenge, in that we wanted to incorporate a huge amount of advanced technology but keep costs reasonable. In developing the three Safety Shield elements to run from one camera we were able to keep manufacturing costs under tight control and make this technology package accessible to the small car segment for the first time."
Since the Safety Shield technologies depend on the rear camera, Nissan's engineers have developed a similarly ingenious way to keep it clean and functioning at all times. By constantly scanning the camera image for dirt, the system is operated by firing a small jet of water, drying the lens using a small jet of compressed air, meaning the system works at all speeds - a perfect example of the Note's in-built engineering innovation.
Complementing Safety Shield is Nissan's advanced Around View Monitor (AVM) - a system that makes reversing and parallel parking virtually stress-free. Using the rear camera and three other cameras positioned on the front grille and wing mirrors, the 5.8-inch dashboard mounted screen displays an image of the Note from above. This helps the driver to visually confirm the car's position in relation to the surrounding area - making parallel parking not only easier but safer.
Key features of the Nissan Safety Shield are:
Blind Spot Warning
A feature once reserved for cars in the premium sector, this system uses the rear camera to detect vehicles in the hidden blind spot areas on both sides of the Note. If a vehicle is detected in either blind spot, a discreet warning light comes on in the glass of the Note's wing mirror. If the driver indicates to change lanes and the system detects a vehicle in the danger area, the light flashes and an audible warning is given.
Lane Departure Warning
Another premium feature making its debut in the small car segment, the Lane Departure Warning system detects if the car is starting to drift out of lane. Again, the Note relies only on its rear camera and advanced computer programmes detect even faint road markings in all light conditions allowing the car to determine if it is drifting out of position without indicating. If it does, a warning is given to the driver to correct their road position. Cleverly, the system automatically adjusts its sensitivity when on rural roads to allow for the different required driving style.
Moving Object Detection
Building on the capabilities of the Around View Monitor System, this new function effectively gives the driver a digital co-pilot to help them look at what might be approaching their reversing Note. While conventional parking aids warn the driver of an object in their path, Moving Object Detection gives an audible and visual alert if someone or something is moving behind the car, for example if a child is walking towards your reversing Note. Mounted on the tailgate and having a convex lens, the safety shield camera has a sweep of vision in excess of 180 degrees, giving it an unparalleled field of vision at the back of the car.
The Note also benefits from Nissan's enhanced Connect satellite navigation, Bluetooth and audio system. Using a new, larger 5.8-inch touch-screen display, the latest system includes Google 'Send to Car' navigation software allowing routes planned at home to be transferred directly to the car. Additional connected services include Google Points of Interest (POI), nearest fuel prices, plus flight and weather information.
Paul Willcox, senior vice president for Nissan sales and marketing in Europe concludes: "The new Note isn't just a direct replacement of the current Note; it's a completely different car with a completely different place in the market. Sitting at the heart of the B segment, the new Note takes on high volume competitors with great design and premium technology in an accessible package."
Production of the new Note will start in the summer, with first deliveries scheduled for autumn 2013 depending on specific markets.
Moving Object Detection
- The Moving Object Detection (MOD) system can inform the driver of moving objects when driving out of garages, manoeuvring into parking lots and in other such instances.
- The MOD system detects moving objects by using image processing technology on the image shown in the display.
- When the shift selector is in the R (Reverse) position and the vehicle speed is approximately 5 mph (8 km/h) or less, the MOD system detects moving objects in the rear-view or rear-wide view.
- If the MOD system detects moving objects surrounding the vehicle, a yellow frame will be displayed on the camera image and a chime sounds.
- When the MOD system detects a moving object surrounding the vehicle, the yellow frame will be displayed on the view where the objects are detected and a chime will sound once. While the MOD system continues to detect moving objects, the yellow frame continues to be displayed
Blind Spot Warning
- The Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system helps alert the driver of other vehicles in adjacent lanes when changing lanes.
- The BSW system operates above approximately 20 mph (32 km/h).
- When the camera unit detects vehicles in the detection zone, the Blind spot indicator light located inside the outside mirrors will illuminate. If the turn signal is then activated, the system chimes (twice) and the Blind spot indicator light flashes to alert the driver.
- The Blind spot indicator light continues to flash until the detected vehicle(s) leave the detection zone.
Lane Departure Warning
- The LDW system operates above approximately 45 mph (70 km/h). When the vehicle approaches either the left or the right of the travelling lane, the LDW system will chime a sound and the LDW light (orange) on the instrument panel will blink to alert the driver
The LDW system is not designed to operate under the following conditions:
- When you operate the lane change signal and change travelling lanes in the direction of the signal. (The LDW system will become operable again approximately two seconds after the lane change signal is turned off.)
- When the vehicle speed is less than approximately 45 mph (70 km/h).
Around View Monitor
- The Around View Monitor combines the feeds from small cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors to project an overhead 360o 'helicopter view' of the area around the vehicle onto the 5.8-inch dashboard mounted screen.
- The system switches on automatically when the car is placed in reverse or, while driving up to 10 km/h, by pressing the "camera" button on dashboard; then it switches off once the car has reached a set speed.
Original source: Nissan