All this week the annual World Automotive Congress of FISITA is going at Pacifico Yokohama in Japan. FISITA is the umbrella organization of automotive engineering societies around the world. This includes the Society of Automotive Engineers in the United States and Canada. This conference along with similar national events around the world (the SAE congress is held in Detroit every March), includes many technical seminars, presentation of research papers, and trade show type displays from car makers and suppliers around the world.
Nissan will be showing off some of their latest technology at this years FISITA congress. Nissan's focus this year is on their safety and environmental efforts. They will be showing off the ASV-3 Advanced Safety Vehicle which features an in-house developed vehicle to vehicle communication system. This system allows the vehicle to communicate what is happening to other vehicles in the vicinity. For example, if the driver applies the brakes, a following vehicle would be alerted and the driver could be warned and if equipped an adaptive cruise control system could be pro-actively activated. This could make such systems more effective and allows cars to run in closer proximity with greater safety. It would also allow capacity to be increased without additional road space. More after the jump.
Also on display will be the PIVO concept car. This compact urban transport vehicle features, a drive by wire, revolving cabin. This allows the vehicle to reverse direction without having a reverse gear. Eliminating the need for a reverse in the transmission, reduces the complexity and weight of the vehicle. Of course the revolving cabin mechanism would probably more negate any other savings. Nonetheless, it is an interesting concept. The Pivo also features an electric drive-train for zero emissions.
Nissan will also be exhibiting some of the technology in their new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). The ITS provides for vehicle to infrastructure communications. For example, as a vehicle approaches an intersection it could contact the traffic signaling system, and vehicles approaching from other directions, could be warned. This is a very interesting idea which could help to improve safety and also overall energy efficiency by facilitating improved overall traffic flow. Nissan recently began field testing this system in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan
Finally Nissan will be showing off the new version of their VQ V-6 engine along with the Xtronic CVT for the new 2007 Altima. The continuously variable transmission can help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions compared to either a manual gear-box or a conventional torque-converter equipped automatic transmission. Since the CVT has no fixed gear ratios, it can allow the engine to run at the optimal speed for the conditions regardless of driver demand and vehicle speed. By maintaining the engine at an optimal speed range rather than constantly increasing and decreasing revs, it runs much more efficiently. Some drivers don't necessarily like this characteristic of CVT equipped vehicles because they aren't used to it. However, the improved performance and efficiency should help to overcome this objection.
These events provide a great opportunity for engineers from around the world to meet up and network. The 2006 FISITA Congress is taking place October 23-27, 2006. Click the Read link to see the Nissan press release.