Automatic braking and other pre-crash safety features are usually found in more expensive higher-end models a given automaker’s range, but Nissan it wants to make it a feature on all mass-volume cars in its domestic market by this autumn.
According to a Reuters report, Japan’s second largest automaker is investing heavily in the prediction that automatic braking will be the focus of the next large-scale implementation of a safety feature, following airbags and antilock brakes becoming standard equipment. And their intention to outfit pretty much every model they offer with the system will begin with the X-Trail Hybrid SUV that was unveiled recently.
An increasing market demand, especially in developed markets, for more advanced safety features has led to this move and it is expected that other automakers will be setting up rival solutions to reduce the number of emergency braking accidents.
In the new RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota, Nissan’s primary competitor, revealed its system (dubbed Toyota Safety Sense or TSS) that utilizes a camera with laser radar to detect a would-be collision that alerts the driver and can apply braking force should the threat reach above a certain threshold. Toyota said that in the Japanese and North American markets, the new safety system will be either offered as standard or as an optional extra on nearly all the passenger cars offered there.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, said that these technologies are all incremental steps toward the self-driving cars which, as he said in a previous statement, would likely be introduced into the Japanese market some time in 2016. Its reasonable to assume that both Nissan and Renault are hard at work to perfect the vehicles, technology, and infrastructure to properly flesh out this vision.
It’s unknown what the rollout strategy is for the rest of the world, but a commitment as big as this isn’t likely to stay confined for very long, meaning that there should be plans coming to light for Nissan’s future vehicles in Malaysia having automatic braking as a standard and perhaps self-driving cars even further down the line.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.