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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on October 30th, 2015 | by Kyle Field


Nissan Announces Self-Driving IDS Concept With 500km Range

October 30th, 2015 by  

The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show is bursting with EV goodness, with much of the excitement coming from Nissan. This year, the company brought along a new-to-the-world concept — the Nissan IDS. As Nissan aspires to live in a world with zero emissions, going way back to when it first introduced the LEAF, you can imagine this hot ride is electric — and it is. The IDS is, at it’s core, the next iteration of the mainstream consumer vehicle that the LEAF is in the EV market today — but perhaps 10 years into the future.

Nissan IDS Concept

Presenting at the show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn shared an excerpt about the company’s vision for the future of personal mobility: “Nissan’s forthcoming technologies will revolutionize the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility.”

The IDS delivers on this with two different driving modes — manual and Piloted Drive, or PD. This allows one to choose whether or not they feel like driving, are able to drive, or just want to relax… as needed. While PD is fully automated, safety features while in manual mode were also highlighted, indicating that the car maintains awareness and the ability to intervene even when in manual mode. This continues an exciting trend of leveraging autopilot features to improve safety. The more manufacturers that start integrating these intelligent driving features into their cars, the better, as that will drive faster improvements in the technology, lower costs, and ultimately, safer roads for all of us.

Another feature that’s more on the fun side of things is that the car appears to have a personality that it uses to relate to the driver, passengers, and even pedestrians on the street, sending messages via its dash-mounted, scrolling, LED screen. Check out the video below for a more fleshed out interpretation of how the concept fits into the life of the rich and famous, zooming around to lunch dates and performances… just for fun.


This car really wants to be your friend and could most accurately be described as the personality of Jarvis from Iron Man, Siri on those i-devices, or Cortana (for the 4 people out there with Windows phones). I would expect it to be fully integrated to all my intimate details of work, play, finance, and the like, and maybe even fold the laundry (hey, a guy can dream).

The result of the automation and technology that’s been rolled into the IDS is a seamless, quiet experience that makes life better. Feel like driving? Go ahead! Want to take a nap? Drop your seat back for a quick power nap — I ‘ll drive! Want to get some work done? Feel free to use the huge dash display to get it on! Want to talk and actually look at the person next to you? Done.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.23.35 PM

The concept video is chalk full of features and even seems to have a supersplendulous windscreen and very thin a-pillars to further accentuate the viewing angles and maximize the panoramic views for the driver. Further accentuating the different driving modes, the car’s interior physically adapts to changes with the steering wheel moving in and out of the way, the center console moving around, and the seats being released to swivel a little when in autopilot/PD mode. It seems like this would make driving more social, though the majority of driving in the US takes place with only 1 person in the car, making it difficult to be social regardless of the context.

All of this cool tech is wrapped in a very sporty exterior that looks like a cross between the diminutive Lexus CT200h with it’s short but sporty stance and the Chevy Bolt concept with it’s full glass ceiling and futuristic lighting enclosures.

“We ride towards harmony with car, society and the world”


The video below paints a compelling future as envisioned by Nissan with its IDS at the center:

Related: Nissan Spills Details of 60-kWh LEAF At Its Advanced Technology Center

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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor. Tesla referral link: http://ts.la/kyle623

  • ROBwithaB

    If you’re going to use an acronym, especially an uncommon one like “IDS”, please let us know within the first paragraph of the story what it’s supposed to mean. Once would be enough. Maybe it doesn’t even mean anything, and is just a marketing name that the company thinks is cool sounding. Either way, I’d like to know.
    Perhaps it’s just me, but there’s an OCD part of my brain that won’t allow me to relax and read the article until I have some explanation as to what the IDS stands for and how that makes the car different from others on the market.

  • sealbeams

    If nissan would put that kind of range in the leaf, I would buy one.

  • NRG4All

    I’d like to see Nissan follow that up with some info on the Quick Charge network. If they come out with a car that begs to be driven long distances so that one doesn’t need two cars (EV & ICE), they need to also come out with a charging network like Tesla. On top of that I can’t get my local Nissan dealer to have anything to do with the LEAF, In fact they denigrate it whenever I’ve talked to them. So how is Nissan going to come up with a charging network?

  • Adrian

    The main takeaways for me:

    Much larger battery for Leaf in the next couple years (we knew “larger” was coming, but “much larger” is a good thing.)
    Working hard on autonomy
    Experimenting with structural carbon fiber.

    Even if only the battery is real, that’s enough.

    • Kyle Field

      Zero Emissions AND Zero Fatalities 🙂 One enables the other.

  • JamesWimberley

    Concept cars are vapourware. They are not evidence that the technology they embody actylually exists.

    • Marion Meads

      Tesla Model 3 is nowhere near a concept car and yet Tesla Fans are treating it like a real product that you can drive! In this I can say that the vaporware Nissan IDS is leaps and bounds ahead of the Tesla Model 3. I hereby challenge Musk to prove me wrong!

      • Kyle Field

        If you were the betting type, who would you put your money on, Nissan delivery the IDS or Tesla delivering the Mod3? For me, it’s all Tesla. Nissan may have a concept but nothing similar to it will come to light…just bits and pieces. Tesla has a Mod3 already and will deliver it.

        • Marion Meads

          Spoken by a true Tesla die hard fanatic!

          Tesla Model 3 is the perfect vaporware there is! Musk should prove me wrong by delivering it now!

          • Jason Willhite

            I always wondered if Musk ever read these articles or the comments. If he’s reading this right now, he should respond with, “It’s me. Mr. Musk”. That would be epic.

          • Matt

            Its me, NOT Mr Musk!

          • Jason Willhite

            Well, one commenter down; 3,280 more to go. If we could get everyone on here to verify they are not Elon, we could figure out who Mr. Musk’s pseudonym really is. 🙂
            Of course, Matt, your comment is something I do think Elon would do so I’m not even convinced we can rule you out yet…

          • Kyle Field

            I’m not a Tesla fanatic at all but I do love progress and averting global climate disaster is nice too. So….no virtual money on either party? (I’m also not the betting type but I am curious what people are thinking fwiw)

          • Otis11

            I’d put my money on the model 3. Might fall short of expectations, but it will be delivered because it will significantly change Tesla’s odds of survival if it doesn’t. Nissan doesn’t have that pressure… They can delay a few more years before it really impacts their bottom line enough for investors to do something about it.

          • Matt

            Yes, part of what holds the big boys/girls back is that fact. Looking at todays market (~all ICE) I don’t have to have a EV yet. And if you make a real one it might hurt ICE profits. So maybe we will wait and see, after all can always catch up later.

      • Brooks Bridges

        You are just plain tiresome. Your complete, willful ignorance of the pluses of what Musk and his team have accomplished are signs of some problem I can’t diagnose. If you want to get rid of me, find something good to say about Musk, Tesla, and I’ll drop dead. Finding nothing good says you’re way out in left field and your opinions, worthless.

        • Kyle Field

          No need for this. Everyone gets their own opinionated unless its just factually wrong (we regularly have to shutter the climate change denier chatter here). Let’s keep it positive 🙂

          • Brooks Bridges

            Have you ever heard one positive word from Marion re Tesla? I’m totally serious. If she’s made even one, I’ve missed it or forgotten it. Please, anyone, refresh my memory and I’ll apologize. I mean, even one like the little boy told to say something nice about an acquaintance of his mother’s: “You don’t sweat much for a fat lady.”

          • Kyle Field

            Yes, I have. She is very knowledgeable and is very passionate about her Volt. Everyone has opinions but the fact that Tesla hasn’t showed off a concept Model 3 is a fact. Arguing this or that is fine but I don’t see personal attacks adding any value to the discussion is all. If you don’t have anything nice to say…

          • Brooks Bridges

            You didn’t say you’ve ever read her saying anything positive about Tesla which was my main point.

            I will never again read or comment on her posts.

          • Kyle Field

            do what you need to do

  • Jason Willhite

    I love the idea of autonomous vehicles. I am just not persuaded, though, that we are ever going to get to the point where the steering wheel will be tucked away and hidden from the driver. Computers are great, but shoot – I can’t even rely on my computer opening my email client some days.

    I elect that if car companies hide the steering wheel, and God forbid that steering wheel not pop-out when it should, that the car come with an insanely awesome oh-sh!t handle.


    • Kyle Field

      Except in that situation, it would have to do something…bring the car to a stop…deploy the external airbags…open up a poop chute below the seat… 😀 😀

      • Jason Willhite

        I just lol’ed 🙂 The poop chute would not come standard though, people would have to pay extra for it. Just like the chloroform-infused air bags.

    • Brooks Bridges

      I can see complete automation occurring under special conditions. Guessing there will be an “automation only” lane like HOV lanes today and all cars in the lane have to have automation capability. How to control entry? Yeah, a few problems.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Why would we want separate lanes for autonomous cars?

        • Brooks Bridges

          Because humans are such clever fools. Trying to mix clever fools with autonomous cars sounds like a very tough AI problem.

  • newnodm

    That car is not a near production car, so I’m not sure why anyone should care. Nissan just seems nervous about Tesla and Bolt.

    If Nissan was near releasing autonomous driving they wouldn’t be marketing this way. I actually find this discouraging. Show a $50K EV that will be released in two years and I will be interested.

    • Kyle Field

      a) Concepts show where the brand is going
      b) They are packed with all sorts of innovation which gets my mind going about what’s possible.
      c) Just for fun!

      Unfortunately, based on the timeline they shared for rolling out autopilot, it’s still a few years away from being as useful as what Tesla has today but hey, it’s a start.

      • Ever been to a car show and seen all the concept cars? Concepts do not show where a brand is going, they show what some of the folks at that company are thinking about. The vast majority of concepts never move beyond concept and nothing about them ends up in a production model.
        When Nissan can actually show something they can build and sell at a price regular folks can afford and that will carry a family between cities, say from Seattle to Portland, I will be all over it. For now though, this is just pie in the sky.

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