Nissan Plots Out "Collision Free" Safety

August 5, 2008
Yesterday, Nissan was all about the ECO Pedal and putting pressure on you to own up to your fuel-slurping ways. This morning, the company's turning its attention to making its cars "Collision Free"--with the help of tech gear it already offers or is clearly planning to offer soon.

The new system is called "All-Around Collision Free," surprisingly. The prototype system (sketched out here for you) combines new Side Collision Prevention and Back-Up Collision Prevention systems with existing lane-departure and smart cruise control systems to protect passengers from potential accidents while at speed.

An idea for now, Collision Free sends alerts to the driver when it detects cars or objects in a lane where the driver may be headed. If the car changes lanes and the system picks up on a car in that lane, it bleeps at the driver and kicks in the anti-lock and yaw-control systems to prevent a collision. Likewise, if the driver goes in reverse and something is spotted by the sensors, an alarm sounds and the brakes are applied by the car.

Other automakers, notably Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, have demonstrated similar systems to journalists, but the hesitation in offering the combined high-tech safety gadgets comes down to liability law. In our view, though, it's a growing cacophony of safety gear competing for attention with iPhones, navigation systems, and even the plain old radio.

What say you--do you want to be Collision-Free, even if it means more cost and more bleeping sensors?

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