Nissan becomes a top seller – of cameras
Increased technology fitted to its cars means Nissan now sells over 3,000 cameras per day
Nissan is among the world’s top-selling car brands, but few people would realise it is fast becoming one of Europe’s biggest camera companies too. Having fitted over two million camera units to its range in less than two years it is now snapping at the heels of some of the world’s biggest camera makers.
Increased safety technology means that Nissan’s best-selling models now have up to five cameras per car. It means that the leading crossover brand sells an astonishing 3,400* cameras per day, or more than two per minute (*Based on average sales of new Qashqai, Juke, X-Trail, GT-R, Leaf, Pulsar and Note from end-January 2014 until end-November 2015, totaling 22 months).
Nissan’s multi-award winning Crossover range, which includes Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail, has accounted for over 1.9 million camera sales since the Qashqai went on sale in 2014 in Europe. The top-selling versions of each have four wide-angle cameras attached to the front, back, left and right, which are the foundations of the pioneering Around View Monitor system.
The AVM system can display a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view which helps the driver to visually confirm the vehicle’s position relative to white lines and other vehicles, allowing the driver to manoeuvre into parking spots with more ease.
The Qashqai and X-Trail also have an additional camera mounted in the windscreen which is used for a variety of high-tech functions, such as traffic sign recognition and automatically dipping main beam headlamps.
Combined, these features illustrate how Nissan is making the very latest innovations accessible to mass market buyers. Camera-based technology is also a key stepping stone to a fully autonomous car.
The camera systems fitted to Qashqai and X-Trail provide the capability for self-parking, along with a package of functions which make up Safety Shield, including Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Moving Object Detection (MOD), all of which will be critical in the future development of autonomous drive.
One of the smartest features within Safety Shield is the intelligent self-cleaning rear view camera system, which detects when it is dirty and automatically cleans itself.
The computer processes more than 15 mega pixels each second; mounted just above the rear number plate, the camera uses its in-built water and compressed air apparatus to clear the lens of debris ensuring the 7-inch NissanConnect screen receives a clear picture, providing optimum passenger and pedestrian safety.
“Unlike rival systems that rely on radar systems to monitor movement around the car, all three elements of Nissan’s Safety Shield work using data from the rear-view AVM camera providing drivers with exceptional visibility and protection,” said Safety Shield senior engineer Christopher Parker.
“The safety of our passengers is the number one priority and Nissan’s proactive approach to safety technology is there to assist drivers at all times.”
And with crossover sales going from strength to strength, Nissan is predicting demand for its camera units will reach over 10 million in the next five years. Engineers are already working on the next generation of camera technology, such as that seen in the Nissan Gripz concept crossover. Two cameras built into the headlamps allow live streaming of the car’s adventures - on and off road – to the internet.
WHAT SAFETY SHIED TECHNOLOGY COMPRISES
Around View Monitor
Designed to assist with parking, AVM provides a virtual 360⁰ overview of the car from a bird's-eye view as pictured from above. The technology helps drivers visually confirm the vehicle's position relative to parking spaces and adjacent objects to manoeuvre into parking spots more easily.
Moving Object Detection
Moving Object Detection combines front and rear parking sensors, which deliver audible warnings to the driver when manoeuvring – with a visual display accessible via the Qashqai's dashboard combimeter – to help the driver to detect obstacles around the vehicle while parking or moving slowly.
Forward Emergency Braking
Using a fully integrated radar system that scans the road ahead, the X-Trail delivers three levels of assistance to drivers. First is an audible warning that alerts the driver if the gap to the car in front is closing. If the driver fails to react to the audible warnings, the brakes are automatically partially applied. Finally, if the gap is still closing, the brakes will be applied harder if necessary.
Driver Attention Alert
With one in road five accidents caused by driver fatigue, the X-Trail's Driver Attention Alert system is an important new addition to the car's safety package. After learning your driving style, the system constantly monitors driving inputs, showing a dashboard alert on the central combimeter if steering becomes erratic, indicating the driver should take a break.
Traffic Sign Recognition
This clever system acts as an extra pair of eyes that can detect speed limit signs and display their information to the driver. Speed limit signs are automatically read by the front-facing camera, which has been programmed to work across Europe, regardless of national sign typography. It even recognises that some countries enforce a weather dependent lower speed limit if it's raining, so both dry and wet weather limits are displayed to the driver.
Lane Departure Warning
Designed to alert the driver if the X-Trail starts to drift out of lane, Lane Departure Warning uses advanced computer programming to detect road markings. This allows the system to determine if the car is moving out of position. If it does, and the driver has not operated the indicators, a warning is given.
Blind Spot Warning
The X-Trail's Blind Spot Warning system uses the Around View Monitor to detect vehicles in the hidden blind spot areas. If a vehicle is detected in either blind spot, a discreet warning light illuminates in the door mirror. If the driver indicates to change lanes and the system detects a vehicle in the danger area, the light flashes and an audible warning is given.
High Beam Assist
Designed to ensure that the X-Trail's lighting system provides maximum illumination at any given time, this system combines a high-resolution camera with advanced software to detect when to switch from low beam to high beam headlights when it recognizes oncoming or distant traffic.
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