Nissan unveiled the Townpod Concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, a new concept car that uses the same technology found on the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. As you can see from the photos the new car has a pair of stylish headlights which reflect the Townpod's philosophy of stylish utility by serving as position markers when the blue "petals" are closed and headlights when open.
Furthermore, the headlights create a coupe-esque bonnet line which reminds us of the Nissan Cube, while the galls to body proportions hark back to the rat-rods of the fifties.
The rear lights light like cut jewels when not in use and are positioned in the all encompassing rear doors. Inside, the idea if simple is continued and the driver is faced with an uncomplicated yet futuristic steering wheel and two familiar stalks to operate the lights and wipers.
All the controls for ancillaries such as climate control and media playback can be accessed via two centrally mounted digital screens.
One of the screens (upper) displays car speed, battery status and remaining range as well as a satellite navigation system.
An interesting feature of the car is called ‘The Puck’, and it is a rubber ball, about the size of a squash ball, with a wide groove cut into it that can accommodate holders, cell-phone rests, hand-bag hooks or other items Nissan or third-party manufacturers think will be useful as the tools we use in our daily lives evolve.
Nissan Townpod is the latest concept vehicle from the Japanese company. Futuristic in the way it looks, it is the technology that has impressed us. All controls are operated through two digital screens which are centrally mounted in the console.
The upper monitor provides the driver with all instrument information such as vehicle speed, battery level, remaining fuel and the satellite navigation system. What is most impressive is the Bluetooth wireless technology that allows the car to communicate with virtually any device that is taken into the interior of the car.
Nissan Product Chief designer, Masato Inoue, explained to us the logic behind the technology. He talked about the problems drivers have in getting their mobile telephones to sync with the car computer and the problems that it causes. He also discussed the cumbersome setting up of home addresses for the satellite navigation.
Nissan Townpod takes away all that hassle. As soon as the driver enters the vehicle, the computer will communicate with your mobile’s Personal Digital Assistant’s (PDA) scheduling function to ascertain diary appointments, where you are and where you need to be, diary appointments, your home address and other important data to you.
It will even work out the best route to get you to your appointment and avoid unnecessary traffic delays. Upon arrival, it will then direct you to the nearest recharge zone for its lithium-ion batteries. The lower touchscreen is responsible for all system checks on the vehicle to check if it is all working correctly.
It also controls the Nissan Townpod’s audio system. The General Manager of Nissan’s Exploratory and Advance Planning Department shared that Nissan needs to keep abreast of technology and ensure that vehicles are able to link with modern day technology and devices.
He pointed out that in the recent past, cars had cassette players. It then featured CD players but now, it has to be iPod TM compatible. Understanding that technology waits for no man, Nissan is pushing driving vehicle technology forward and breaking new ground with the development of the Puck.
The Puck system can also be used to connect with technology belonging to other occupants in the vehicle. So you can access your friend’s music collection and play it through the internet radio without having to use any cables or bringing the phones out and holding them near the vehicle’s computer.
The passenger doesn’t even need to remove his phone from his pocket as the devices will just sync. This is a facility that will likely appeal to many as it is practical and easy to use.