The iCar: How The Car Becomes Just Another App

November 1st, 2010  |  Published in Mobility & Space, On the TechWatch, TechWatch Japan, Uncategorized

With the launch of the first mass produced eCars the gadgetisation of automobiles shifts to another gear as Nissan demonstrated today.

The TechWatcher wrote about this trend already in his column for the German edition of Technology Review (My iPhone, my iPad, my iCar).

Now on Monday, Nissan finally introduced its interactive information and communication system for electric vehicles officially after having talked about at great lengths before.

The system will allow the owner of Nissans first EV “Leaf ” access to¬†data and¬†information at all times, on board while driving, or via their PC or mobile phones while parking. To reduce the (by the way warranted) fear of running out of juice while driving, the system shows not only the charging status and the range of the battery, but also the nearest charging posts.

Furthermore the systems stores the EV usage history and battery conditions. While parking, the owner can remote control not only the charging status of the battery, but also the air condition via mobile phone or PC.

Nissan’s system requires its car navigation system Carwings, but basically the whole set up works also as an App on the mobile phone as well as Better Place and a Japanese Taxi company demonstrated during a first 90-days real life test of Better Place’s battery exchange system (which is seen as either Milestone or Money Combustion Engine).
The taxi company could not only control the where-abouts of their EV-taxis, but also the driving data including speed, battery status like heat and charge (see photographs).
If you want to see more pictures of the charging station please click here…
Another example required?

Nissan also presented a “New Mobility” Concept Car: A two-seater EV. Judging from the photographs of the device, the company wants to fix four wheels, an electrical engine, two seats and wind and rain protection to a giant rechargeable battery.
The idea is to produce a car, that is not only innovative in form and function (it supposed to be use as a kind of shared semi-private community car that can be used to commute to station in the morning and evening and as company car during working hours).
Nissans wants to build it so small and safe, that “enables anyone to drive and park easily” and delivers the “maneuverability equivalent to motorbikes with greater safety” (both quotes are Nissan speech).

The TechWatcher does not want to sound like a fan boy, but Nissan is currently leading the industry when it comes to new business models not only for new concepts of mobility, but also the reuse of batteries over their full life span. Nissan has founded already a battery recycling business, that will reuse the car batteries as storage for solar energy.

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