Nissan IDS Concept Previews Next Generation Leaf EV, Doubles Battery Capacity

Electric and self-driving vehicles are already here in some capacity, though if you think about it, the existing solutions are clunky. That's because neither technology has been around long enough to mature. Electric vehicles haven't yet replicated the combination of performance and distance capabilities of their gas guzzling brethren, and autonomous vehicles require a human driver always be at the ready to take control. In other words, there's room for improvement.

This is where Nissan's newest concept vehicle comes into play. Unveiled at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, the Nissan IDS Concept "embodies Nissan's vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission EVs," and it does it in wonderfully futuristic fashion. It also bucks current trends in self-driving technology.

Nissan IDS Concept

The "IDS" in the Nissan IDS Concept's name stands for Intelligent Driving System and it does more than take over control while you look over its shoulder. To begin with, it monitors and learns from your driving style, everything from accelerating and braking to cornering and so forth. This way when you hand over control, it won't feel like a completely different driver took the wheel. If you prefer a more exhilarating driving experience, the IDS will provide it, though not recklessly.

Of course, you can take control and maneuver curvy roads if you want to. When you do, the Concept car uses an array of sensors to monitor the environment and provide assistance when needed, like taking evasive action when it detects imminent danger.

Nissan IDS Concept Interior

The car's cabin is also futuristic. When in auto pilot mode, the steering wheel flips around and disappears into the dash and the seats tilt back and turn slightly inward for a more relaxing and social experience. Remember, this isn't an autonomous car for today, but for sometime down the line when it's feasible to let the vehicle take control without the driving needing to always be at the ready to take over.

As for making long commutes, the Nissan IDS Concept benefits from a high-capacity 60 kWh battery. Combined with "outstanding aerodynamics, low stance, flowing form, and reduced weight due to its full carbon fiber body," Nissan says its vehicle can handle long distance driving, and do it with zero CO2 emissions.

Cool stuff, now we just have to wait for the future to arrive.