Traffic Safety System from Nissan.....
New Nissan system to keep safe distance in traffic
Reuters / March 15, 2006 - 9:00 am
YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Nissan Motor Co. said on Wednesday it has developed a new safety feature that automatically helps a driver maintain a uniform distance with the car in front at slow speeds.
The system, which uses a radar sensor to determine the relative speed of both cars and the distance between them, is especially handy in heavy traffic when frequent braking is needed, Japan's second-biggest automaker said.
Nissan plans to introduce the feature in the high-end segment in Japan in two to three years, and possibly later in North America and Europe.
The technology is part of Nissan's aim to halve the number of fatal and serious injuries involving its own vehicles in Japan by 2015 compared with 1995 levels.
The distance-controlling system automatically applies the brakes when the driver releases the gas pedal within range of the car ahead. If the driver is stepping on the accelerator within the predetermined range, the system kicks in to push the driver's foot back from the pedal while simultaneously sounding a buzzer and providing a visual warning on the instrument panel, prompting the driver to apply the brakes.
"This feature also helps save gas by preventing sudden acceleration and braking," said Yousuke Akatsu, senior manager at Nissan's advanced vehicle engineering division.
Major carmakers around the world are racing to develop next-generation safety features to offer customers more value-added products as competition intensifies.
Nissan said its spending on research and development has grown about 15 percent every year since 2000, and was forecast to be equivalent to 5.0 percent of revenue.
Last business year, Nissan's r&d costs were equal to 4.6 percent of sales, compared with 4.1 percent for Toyota Motor Corp. and 5.4 percent for Honda Motor Co., Nissan said.
Demonstrating other cutting-edge features to journalists at its research center in Yokosuka, near Tokyo, Nissan showed the world's first paint coating that automatically repairs light scratches using highly elastic resin that boosts the paint's flexibility.
Under ordinary conditions, the scratch guard coat, developed with Nippon Paint Co., will repair a scratched surface between one day to a week, activated by heat.
The paint is featured on a limited edition of the X-Trail crossover launched last December, and costs an extra $446 (52,500 yen). Nissan said it was considering the feature for other models.
The Tokyo-based automaker also introduced fuel-saving technology under development, including hydrogen-free diamond-like carbon coating, which significantly reduces friction between engine parts, and an optimal valve timing control system that reduces energy loss within the engine.
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