The automotive landscape is changing quickly with a raft of smaller, more efficient autos coming to market. We're even on the verge of mass-market electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. The bogey has shifted and will continue to shift over time, so Nissan is aiming to get ahead on the changes of tomorrow. The Japanese automaker issued a press release Wednesday to inform the world that it is working on a "Health & Well-Being" concept to make driving in a Nissan safer and healthier than ever before... and we can see some out of the box thinking showing through.

Have dry skin? The Nissan of two or three years from now could pump breathable vitamin C into the cabin, helping to keep your skin moisturized. Just when we were beginning to wonder if we would ever fix our dry elbow problem. Exciting stuff, and there's more.

The next-generation climate control system could control the filtering of air, a plasmacluster ion generator and inside/outside air control with but one control. How about a speedometer that keeps you out of trouble by reminding you of important dates like anniversaries and birthdays? As long as it doesn't tell us to slow down and it can shut up when prompted, we're okay with that. The Japanese automaker is also working on "easy chars" that utilize NASA research to promote proper blood flow in the legs and back during long trips. Another new seat design is new Comfortable Captain Seat, which utilizes an integrated leg rest, articulated seatback and three-layered cushion pads to keep passengers comfy for long periods of time. Hit the jump to read Nissan's invigorating presser.

[Source: Nissan via The Economic Times]
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Nissan Motor Introduces "Health & Well-Being" Concept -
Designed to Enhance Cabin Comfort
YOKOHAMA (July 22, 2010) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its new "Health & Well-Being" concept, which is designed to create a comfortable in-car environment for both driver and passengers. Three new technologies based on this concept are being introduced: Comfortable Captain Seat, Advanced Climate Control System and Quick Comfort Seat Heater.

The basic aim of the "Health & Well-Being" concept is to help reduce stress and fatigue of drives and passengers, providing body and mind with the necessary comfort for a optimum driving experience. Toward that end, Nissan is developing innovative ideas and technologies to provide 1) a comfortable posture and thermal environment to help improve blood circulation, and 2) good cabin air quality for improved health.

The "Health & Well-Being" concept is part of Nissan's larger "Life on Board" strategic technology focus. "Life on Board" is the term Nissan uses to describe the whole process of getting into the vehicle, preparing to drive, driving, arriving at the destination and getting out. Its goal is to create an ideal in-car environment by pursuing innovations in three main areas: "a cockpit designed for easy driving," "cabin comfort" and "a well-made interior."

A wide range of initiatives are being implemented around "Life on Board." They include the new "Intelligent Control Display," an easy-to-use versatile multi-function information system introduced on the Nissan Juke; the "Forest AC" air conditioning system used on the Nissan FUGA, which is designed to recreate the refreshing breezes, temperature, humidity and aroma of natural forests; improvements to the quality and texture of interior materials; and other new technologies based on human studies.

Comfortable Captain Seat
The new Comfortable Captain Seat design incorporates three new technologies: "seat cushion-integrated leg rest," "articulated seatback," and "three-layered cushion pads." Nissan is the only automaker adopting all three technologies at the same time.

With the seat's all-in-one seat cushion and leg rest seat design, the body is supported as a whole, helping maintain a posture that can be relaxed and stress-free. The seat cushion-integrated leg rest, supports the lower legs over a large area and helps spread the body weight to help avoid leg swelling.

The articulated seatback helps maintain the balance of the muscular force around the backbone at close to "zero gravity," which is said to be the least stressful posture for the human body, helping reduce physical strain.

The three-layered cushion pads optimally combine upholstery of different characteristics and can be adjusted for greater comfort in various seating postures and vehicle types.

Advanced Climate Control System
The new Advanced Climate Control System allows three related devices to be controlled with a single switch - the Plasmacluster Ions generator, the inside/outside air control, and the grape polyphenol clean air filter*1.

The latest version is equipped with highly concentrated Plasmacluster Ions that have been proven to help keep the skin naturally moisturized*2. Plasmacluster Ions help reduce airborne bacteria and mold levels, help to deactivate ticks and microbe allergens in the air, and control odors. In addition to the conventional emission gas sensor, the system detects various other odors - such as from animals and factories - and automatically switches the ventilation flow as needed. These functions provide a more comfortable environment inside the vehicle.

Quick Comfort Seat Heater
The Quick Comfort Seat Heater optimizes heating density and control, based on human temperature sensitivity studies (world-first) conducted in a joint research program with Professor Yutaka Tochihara of Kyushu University Faculty of Design. The studies showed that heat transfer efficiency and sense of comfort vary according to the region of the body.

In the first stage of operation, the Quick Comfort Seat Heater warms the area of the thighs and buttocks. Once the heat becomes stable, warming of the lower back and the thighs shortens the time it takes for a person to feel warm by 35% (compared to a conventional system), and creates a longer sense of comfort.

These technologies not only have a relaxing effect, but also help to improve blood circulation, thereby reducing driving fatigue.

In order to provide a more comfortable and pleasurable ride, Nissan continues to research and develop technologies based on the concept of "Health & Well-Being."

*1 The grape polyphenol clean air filter reduces allergen, while inactivating allergen by filter that uses fiber impregnated with natural grape seed polyphenol.
*2 The effect may vary from person to person and under different operating conditions. Test conducted by Soiken Inc.: ionic concentration 25,000/cm3; measured moisture from skin on the temple area of human subjects.
The product employs the Plasmacluster technology developed by Sharp Corporation. "Plasmacluster" and "Plasmacluster Ions" are trademarks of Sharp Corporation.