Subaru Corporation has completed new test tracks for advanced driver assist technologies at its Bifuka proving ground, in Hokkaido, Japan. The new test tracks will begin use next month.
The proving ground was established in 1995 as a development facility for conducting performance evaluations in cold climates and driving tests on snow. The 361-hectare site includes a variety of test and handling courses, and was expanded to include a high-speed circuit in 2003.
Designed to simulate public roads, the tracks are used to conduct a variety of tests throughout the year. Existing tracks at the proving ground have been upgraded to build the new Advanced Driver Assist Technologies test areas, making conditions closer to those on actual public roads.
BIFUKA PROVING GROUND OUTLINE
High-speed circuit: Total length 4.2 km (existing high-speed course upgraded to bring it closer to actual road conditions)
- New gentle curves simulating those on motorways
- New entry and exit lanes, simulating interchanges and service areas on motorways
- New multi-lane track, simulating a four-lane road
- New concrete paved road simulating North American freeway surfaces
Urban road course
- New urban road course, simulating two-way traffic on roads
- Road forms designed to resemble actual conditions, including intersections with and without turning lanes, guiding zones (pedestrian crossings)
- A roundabout intersection
- The general test tracks have been expanded and new functions added
- The proving ground’s administration building has been rebuilt.
As part of initiatives to strengthen the brand, set out in its mid-term management vision, Subaru Corporation is pursuing technological development with the aim of becoming the top automotive company for overall safety.
Subaru is particularly focused on further enhancement of the EyeSight® driver assist system. The new Japan domestic market Levorg and WRX S4 models, released in August, are both fitted with Touring Assist, a new feature added to EyeSight, as standard equipment.
The new test tracks will be used to further accelerate the development needed for driver assist technologies, as they become increasingly advanced. By 2020, Subaru plans to offer an automated lane-changing function, by adding minimal devices such as digital maps, GPS, and radar to the EyeSight stereo camera.
The company also aims to develop an EyeSight-based technology that prevents collisions with vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at intersections.
Production of the all-new INFINITI Q60 sports coupe has started at the company’s manufacturing facility in Tochigi, Japan. Designed and engineered to perform, the Q60 offers a compelling combination of daring design, exhilarating performance and dynamics. The Tochigi plant has been producing INFINITI vehicles since the brand was launched in 1989. The launch of the new INFINITI Q60 heralds the start of a new chapter in the plant’s history. To meet the requirements of the new model, a series of upgrades have been made to the production line, and innovative manufacturing processes have been introduced.
Upgrades to production lines
Industry-leading advances in manufacturing enabled INFINITI designers to draw the sharp angles and body lines that are characteristic of the Q60. The stamping and assembly lines feature key improvements, notably through the adoption of a unique deep-body stamping technology and new tooling machinery for the model’s unique resin trunk lid. To further enhance quality control, a new lighting system for the inspection process and a camera and video system on the assembly line have been introduced.
Manufacturing, design and engineering teams worked very closely together to ensure that the unique trunk lid feature for Q60 can be realized with the highest quality at the Tochigi plant. In a world’s first application, this trunk lid is a hybrid combination of a resin skin on a steel frame. It gives INFINITI designers more freedom to develop shapes that can then be built in a single part.
Dedicated paint booth for “Dynamic Sandstone Red”
One major enhancement to the Tochigi facility is a new dedicated paint booth, which has been installed solely to allow production of Q60’s new “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint finish. The glossy, deep red finish requires a new painting set-up, using a combination of machinery and manual processes developed by INFINITI’s most senior coating experts.
The new paint booth enables workers in the Tochigi paint shop to more finely control paint thickness and quality, and the newly-developed “Dynamic Sandstone Red” paint process is the result of testing several hundred variations of paint formulations and application methods.
Nissan has begun testing its first prototype vehicle that demonstrates piloted drive on highway and city/urban roads. Nissan maintains two corporate visions of a sustainable mobile society: "Zero Emission" and "Zero Fatality." For Zero Emission, the company's goal is to eliminate the emission of CO2 gasses from Nissan vehicles, while Zero Fatality is an aspirational goal that aims to eliminate virtually all fatalities stemming from traffic accidents. "Vehicle Intelligence" will play a key role in realizing the concept of Zero Fatality. Therefore, the company is developing an advanced form of vehicle intelligence called "Nissan Intelligent Driving," which comprises various innovative features that will be introduced in stages.
For Stage One, Nissan will offer "Piloted Drive 1.0" by the end of 2016 in Japan. Piloted Drive 1.0 allows for autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions. By 2018, the company hopes to implement a multiple lane piloted drive that can conduct lane changes on highways. And by 2020, a new technology will be introduced that allows vehicles to successfully manage city/urban roads- including intersections – autonomously.
The prototype vehicle making its public debut will be tested in actual traffic conditions on both the highway and city/urban roads to develop and further enhance Nissan Intelligent Driving for public use. The vehicle is based on the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle and it is equipped with features such as a millimeter wave radar, laser scanners, cameras, high-speed computer chips, and a specialized HMI (Human Machine Interface), just to name a few. All of this helps allow the vehicle to operate in an autonomous manner on both highway and city/urban roads except for setting destination points into the navigation system. These tests are planned for Japan as well as overseas in the near future.
Nissan has developed two innovative technologies that can make piloted drive possible on city/urban roads. The first is the miniature, high-spec laser scanner. Currently in its prototype stages, the laser scanner determines the distance between the vehicle and its surroundings through the use of precise three-dimensional measurement that enables the vehicle to navigate routes in tight spaces. The other new technology is an 8-way, 360-degree view camera system that allows for accurate routing decisions when driving through intersections and sharp curving roads.
The new prototype vehicle possesses both of these innovative features, facilitating smooth transportation through complex traffic environments, helping the occupants feel as though they are in the hands of a skilled driver.
"We at Nissan are setting clear goals and preparing for the implementation of piloted drive," said senior vice president of Nissan, Takao Asami. "The prototype that we're introducing here today is proof of how close we are towards the realization of this goal. Nissan aspires for a safe and trouble-free motoring future, and we plan on leading the industry in the implementation of piloted drive."
HMI (Human Machine Interface)
Piloted Drive Commander
Positioned on the center console, this device conducts various functions, such as shifting between Manual Drive mode (normal drive mode) and Piloted Drive mode (autonomous drive mode), automatic lane changes, and more.
The area fully adopts a Thin Film Transistor LCD screen to display vehicle information based on the vehicle's driving mode and driving environment. EV drive information is displayed in Manual Drive mode, such as the speedometer, distance to empty, etc., For Piloted Drive mode, along with the EV drive information, the vehicle's surroundings are displayed in a virtual 360-degree view during higher speeds, and front view for lower speeds.
Heads Up Display
When in Piloted Drive mode, the driving path, such as lane changes and intersections, is displayed in front of the driver.
In order to observe the driving landscape during Piloted Drive, a virtual bird's eye view is displayed on the large screen.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. released an overview of its exhibit at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show, which will be held at Tokyo Big Sight and open to the public from October 30 through November 8. Among the exhibits will be Teatro for Dayz, an innovative concept that signals a new direction in mobile technology. Designed especially for the digital native generation, this vision of near-future vehicles departs from convention and marks a shift in perception.
Other major Nissan exhibit components include:
- Nissan Gripz Concept, making its Japan debut following its unveiling at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show last month
- Leading-edge autonomous drive and safety technologies
- Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
A total of 20 vehicles will be on display, including the X-Trail Hybrid Mode Premier and Juke 16GT Four Personalization models; and special-feature models, including the Skyline 350GT Hybrid Type-SP Cool Exclusive, Fuga 370GT Type-S Cool Exclusive and Serena Highway Star V Selection.
Further details of the main featured vehicles:
Teatro for Dayz –A new approach to driving the next-generation
Nissan describes the generation that went straight from the cradle to digital technology as "share natives." This generation will reach driving age in a few years, but has shown little interest in cars so far. What kind of cars will move share natives? Will they even want to drive? Nissan has designed a provocative solution: Teatro for Dayz. Teatro for Dayz: Its name is drawn from the Italian word for theater and a Nissan minicar. This concept has an innovative design and features that enable share natives to create and share experiences immediately with friends both onboard and online. Designed under the concept "a clean canvas," its key feature is its smooth white interior that allows the instrument panel, seats and even door trim to serve as a blank canvas for expression.
Built on Nissan's EV (Electric Vehicle) technology, Teatro for Dayz is as much a giant mobile battery as four-wheel transportation. To a share native, this is the point: Cars can be mobile devices for occupants interested in creating, connecting and sharing. What Teatro for Dayz is and how it's used will finally be decided by share natives themselves. At the motor show, you will get a glimpse into the future and see the creativity of the next generation at play.
Nissan Gripz Concept — EV-based series hybrid sports crossover
The Nissan Gripz Concept, conceived by designers in Europe and Japan, aims to blend the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car. Equipped with an EV-technology-based series hybrid system—Pure Drive e-Power—, the Nissan Gripz Concept delivers a smooth, refined and exhilarating driving experience with outstanding fuel efficiency. Within the system, an efficient petrol engine powers the same electric motor used in the Nissan LEAF.
The exterior of the Nissan Gripz Concept is guided by the "emotional geometry" body sculpting concept which depicts strong contrasts through the dynamic, tensional, yet edgy, surface. The interior has a "gliding wing" instrument panel, with an elegantly thin design that combines strength with simplicity.
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo — New color, enhanced presence
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, a concept supercar developed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc., the creators of the racing video game Gran Turismo for PlayStation, is certain to further increase Nissan's sizable presence in the game and beyond. The latest creation in the Vision Gran Turismo Project was unveiled at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 in England. In new Fire Knight red body colour and featuring a new expression of Nissan's signature V-Motion grille, the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is a real-world embodiment of a virtual car, through which gamers around the world experience Nissan's dynamic performance and innovation.
The press conference and other Nissan show highlights will be webcast live on Ustream.