Surf the web at 75 mph while Nissan’s electric IDS concept handles the driving

Nissan has introduced a brand-new concept car dubbed IDS at the Tokyo Motor Show. The IDS is a highly futuristic show car that hints at what we can expect from the next all-electric Leaf in terms of design and technology.

Crafted entirely out of carbon fiber, the IDS wears an evolution of Nissan’s current design language that stands out thanks to angular headlights surrounded by C-shaped LED daytime running lights, a U-shaped grille with a back-lit Nissan emblem, a carbon fiber splitter and a sculpted hood. The back end gets a roof-mounted spoiler, a blacked-out C-pillar, and boomerang-shaped tail lamps that are almost Juke-like.

The IDS puts an equal emphasis on form and function. Its belt line is accented by thin strips of blue LEDs installed to interact with the car’s surroundings in real time. For example, the LEDs shine white when the IDS gets close to a pedestrian or a cyclist in order to let them know that the car’s sensors, radars and cameras are aware of them. Similarly, an outward-facing screen on the dashboard displays friendly messages such as “after you” directed at pedestrians and other motorists.

The IDS previews the autonomous technology that Nissan hopes to bring to the market by 2020. It takes self-driving cars to the next level by letting the owner dial in his or her preferred driving style. The IDS can be programmed to accelerate, corner, and brake like a sports car, or it can be programmed to offer a more relaxed, slow-paced ride.

When the IDS is being driven, the cabin features a steering wheel with two handle-like pods, a simple-looking digital instrument cluster, and a heads-up display. When the driver wants to rest, the steering wheel and the instrument cluster retract into the dash, and a huge screen that stretches the entire width of the dashboard pops out to let the passengers access social media networks, applications such as Skype, emails, and more. The entertainment and navigation functions are also displayed on the screen.

The IDS is powered by an all-electric drivetrain that gets electricity from a relatively large 60-kWh battery pack. A purpose-designed smartphone application lets the owner tell the car to pull in and out of a parking spot by simply pressing a button, and allows the owner to turn wireless charging on and off from a distance.

Although it looks like a car sent to the Tokyo show straight from the 23rd century, the IDS is an accurate preview of what Nissan has in store for the future. The design will be toned down and applied to the next Leaf, which is expected to arrive in 2017, and the autonomous technology will be launched in key markets such as Japan and the United States in the medium-term future.

Video and photos courtesy of Nissan/YouTube

Product Review

Bigger battery and folding top add appeal, but BMW’s i8 remains ultra-niche

Want a high-performance vehicle that's more than just a frightening driving experience? Desire the look and feel of a sports car with the road manners of a luxury commuter? The BMW i8 is for you.
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Emerging Tech

Own a drone? New rule means you have to change the way IDs are displayed

Registered drone owners will need to put their machine's ID number on the outside of the aircraft from February 23 in accordance with a new FAA rule. It means the ID can no longer be placed inside the drone's battery compartment.
Cars

Will Apple sell its Touch ID and Face ID technology to automakers?

Recent patent filings suggest Apple wants its Touch ID and Face ID technologies to spread across the automotive industry. The company outlined how motorists could use their finger or their face to unlock their car.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.