Nissan Leaf NSC-2015: self-drived, comes when called, finds parking spots

Article by Christian A., on October 15, 2012

Nissan has big plans for its all-electric hatchback. For example, a low-cost trim level may soon be added to the Leaf EV lineup. Nissan demonstrated at this year’s CEATEC Japan technology conference an automated version of the Leaf named NSC-2015, which can park itself and pick the owner/passenger at just the push of a button.

The NSC-2015 is different from other self-driving cars that use GPS to move around. Instead, the NSC-2015 depends on a remote monitoring system that’s based on an all-around view camera and 4G mobile communications. According to Nissan, this method offers precise recognition of the model’s surroundings.

Most significantly, it operates even when there’s an interruption in the communication to the satellite network such as when passing through underground parking structures.

The car can be told to park itself with the use of a smartphone app. In addition, the EV will attempt to find a vacant parking spot and get itself in. While the vehicle is parked, a security camera system will monitor its surroundings.

The driver’s smartphone instantly receives a report if it detects any suspicious activity. The NSC-2015 can pick up its passengers when called as easily as it parked itself.

Nissan said that the project’s overall goal was to lessen the chance of human error, which is the reason for 90% of all accidents, to as near to zero as possible. It had also set out to lessen the time spent to look for parking. As hinted by its name, the NSC-2015 could be totally viable by 2015.

In developing the new LEAF, both the design team and the engineering team not only wanted a real-world car that would be priced competitively but also one that would allow Nissan to take the lead in mobility towards a period of zero emissions. In addition, the LEAF should also be able to offer a large amount of space, ample cargo capacity, and excellent comfort.

To do so, it meant implementing a new layout for the body and using a new chassis. What makes the new LEAF truly unique is that it is able to deliver a fun-to-drive and highly responsive experience, something that a number of customers generally expect from the usual gas-powered vehicles instead of EVs. This is possible for the LEAF as the power is sourced from compact and laminated lithium-ion batteries capable of 90 kW with an electric motor is able to offer output of 80 kW with torque of 280 Nm.

Since this latest offering from Nissan does not have a tail pipe, unlike what is offered in many vehicles having an internal-combustion engine, this meant that there are no CO2 emissions or any greenhouse gas emissions for that matter. Paired with the battery is the brand’s very own regenerative braking system and this combination enables the LEAF to have total range, on a single full charge, of at least 100 miles (160 km).

While this may not be enough for some customers, studies have shown that this particular range is, in fact, able to meet the daily driving needs of at 70% of drivers around the world. As if to sweeten the pot, charging the battery is both convenient and easy.

Through quick charging, it is possible to have 80% of its full capacity charged within 30 minutes. For those who want a full charge, all that is needed is to plug it to a standard 200-volt outlet. Total time is 8 hours, which is just enough for both the vehicle and the driver to get some much needed rest.

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