Nissan Motor Company Ltd. on July 21 announced an enhanced automotive navigation system design that utilizes intelligent transportation system (ITS) infrastructure and other advanced technology to promote safer and greener driving. The new navigation system - the world's first to incorporate ITS information in a production vehicle - will debut on the next generation Nissan Fuga, which goes on sale in Japan in fall 2009.

The navigation system includes four advanced features in addition to the standard navigation functions:

  • Intersection / signal warning
  • Elementary School-zone alerts
  • Navigation-linked speed control
  • Enhanced route search and calculation

The goal of the enhanced navigation system is to provide safety-related information to drivers to help prevent accidents at intersections and raise awareness for safer driving. The system also incorporates a green-driving feature already introduced on select Nissan models.

Helping Improve Safety
In October 2006, Nissan began large-scale intelligent transportation system tests of advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure communications* to help reduce accidents and minimize traffic congestion. Nissan's system employs an optical beacon receiver developed in the SKY project which works in sync with infrastructure. It was adopted recently by the National Police Agency and its public corporate arm, the Universal Traffic Management Society of Japan (UTMS) for their Driving Safety Support System (DSSS**).

This fiscal year, as the government is revamping the road infrastructure, Nissan will incorporate a new feature that uses information on traffic and the status of nearby vehicles from optical beacons to warn drivers about situations that are difficult to see.

Following is a closer look at the new Nissan navigation system technology:

Safety-Related Information

  • Intersection and Signal Warning
    Using information transmitted from the Driving Safety Support System (DSSS) on-road systems, drivers can receive audible and display warnings when approaching some low-visibility intersections. The driver can decide whether the information is necessary to act on or not, depending on driving conditions. This is the first system of its kind utilized in a production automotive navigation system.
     
  • School Zone Alerts
    The new navigation system's mapping database now includes school zones. When the vehicle enters an elementary school zone and the system determines that a safety warning is appropriate, based on real-time vehicle information (speed, acceleration, braking, etc.), it provides audible and display warnings to direct driver attention. This feature is available in the new Nissan Skyline Crossover, which was released in July.

Green Driving Features

  • Navigation-linked Speed Control
    Using navigation system information such as the sharpness of a curve or the distance to a tollgate, the system can control the vehicle's engine and transmission, optimize engine braking and reduce fuel flow to help make driving more fuel-efficient. This feature is currently in use on the Nissan Eco ("NECO") series, a line of greener cars released in Japan in April.
     
  • Faster Route Searches
    Using probe data*** traffic information from individual vehicles sent to the Carwings Center, this system supplies information for all roads (except alleys) in addition to that previously available via the Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS). The center also collects waiting time data, for example, when turning at an intersection, from vehicles at traffic signals and delivers it to other vehicles in the area. Using this information for route calculation makes route searches more precise, moves traffic faster, reduces traffic congestion and promotes greener driving.
  1. *: Experiment running in Kanagawa Prefecture since October 2006 to reduce accidents and traffic congestion using traffic environment data delivered via data communications networks. It is a joint effort of Nissan, NTT DoCoMo Inc, Panasonic Corp. and Clarion Co., Ltd. (formerly Xanavi Infomatics Corp.).
  2. **: The National Police Agency and its corporation Universal Traffic Management Society of Japan (UTMS) oversee the Safety Support System to reduce traffic accidents using road-car communications from the latest ITS technologies, including sensors and on-road vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
  3. ***: Information on vehicle position, speed and the like obtained by wireless technology.