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29/04/2012 1255

Nissan - Pivo 2

Original name: ニッサン ピボ2

This environmental friendly electric urban commuter embodies cutting-edge technologies, user-friendly innovations and Robotic Agent to create a new car-driver relationship.

The original Nissan Pivo, an innovative three-seat, electric-powered commuter car with a cabin capable of rotating 360 degrees, was a surprise sensation at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. Two years later, the futurists at Nissan's Advanced Vehicle Engineering Department return with Pivo 2 - an "intelligent life form design" that proposes an entirely new relationship between car and driver.

Like the breakthrough Pivo, the centerpiece of Pivo 2's unique design is its revolving three-person cabin and "by-wire" technologies that substitute electric signals for conventional mechanical linkages (shafts, hydraulic cylinders and other components) in the steering, braking and drivetrain systems. Pivo 2 takes every advanced aspect of the original and propels it far into the future of mobility, convenience and vehicle robotics.

Pivo 2 is also equipped with a number of safety systems based on Nissan's Safety Shield* concept, including Around View Monitor and Distance Control Assist System (DCAS).

Intelligent Life Form Design

Research by Nissan showed that drivers who are in a positive frame of mind are significantly less likely to be involved in accidents. Taking that concept further, Nissan believes that a vehicle can also evoke feelings of affection, creating an actual "partner" relationship. To that end, Pivo 2 employs a robotic agent (RA) that serves to connect the car and driver, engendering feelings of affection and trust.

With the RA's "face" peering over the instrument panel, the RA "talks" and "listens" to the driver, inferring the driver's mood through conversation and facial monitoring technology. Besides providing information needed for driving operations, RA is programmed to "cheer up" or "soothe" the driver, depending on the situation. Moreover, RA "gestures" to the driver in ways that can be intuitively understood, such as nodding or shaking its head - helping put the driver in a calmer, happier frame of mind. This interactive interface forges feelings of trust and affection between the driver and car that facilitate safe, enjoyable driving.

"In the course of interacting with RA during the development process, we would become concerned and wonder what RA was thinking at times, particularly when it was silent and kept still," said Masahiko Tabe, a Senior Manager in Nissan's Advanced Vehicle Engineering Department. "Clearly we were developing feelings of trust and affection with RA and, by extension, Pivo 2."

Intelligent Packaging and Design

More than just creating Pivo 2 as a rolling laboratory for robotic agent interactions, Pivo 2's physical layout itself embraces intelligent design. "Normally, a car design is developed while keeping the mechanical functions in mind, such as where the headlamps or taillights should be located," comments Chief Designer Masato Inoue of the Product Design Department. "However, in designing Pivo 2, we were conscious of the overall car being an intelligent life form. Pivo 2 represents an experiment unlike anything we have ever tried before."

Pivo 2's exterior makes an attractive, highly distinctive styling statement. High-power, thin disk-shaped motors, positioned at all four wheels, eliminate the need to install traction motors within the body, resulting in substantial space gains. Additional room is saved by the increased capacity of Nissan's advanced compact lithium-ion battery that drives the motors, as well as the adoption of compact inverter integrated with each motor.

With Pivo 2's 360-degree revolving cabin, its front door is accessible from any direction - allowing the door to be turned to face entering passengers wherever they are standing. Driver and passengers access their seats through the front door, as if they were going in or out of their own personal room. Once inside, driver and passengers are treated to an atmosphere that inspires peace of mind. The interior is laid out with the driver positioned in the center front, with a lounge-chair-like passenger seat in the rear - enabling three persons to sit comfortably in the compact cabin.

To assist in ingress and egress, Pivo 2's instrument panel is integrated into the power front door and the steering wheel rises when the door is opened. The advanced RA system is located on the left side of the instrument panel, with a liquid crystal display monitor on the right side. The monitor screen changes in tandem with the RA's communications with the driver.

Cutting-edge Nissan technologies for "Always Enjoyable, Everywhere Convenient" - and sideways - mobility

One of the basic requirements for an urban commuter car is that it be convenient and comfortable for driving in the city, be simple to park and be capable of navigating narrow streets with ease. Pivo 2's revolving cabin, inherited from the first-generation Pivo, is made possible by advanced by-wire technologies and the "Metamo" (variable geometry) System that allows flexible geometry changes. This signature Pivo revolving interior means that the driver can always face forward while driving, even when parallel parking or when leaving a front-in parking space.

Thanks to advanced control technology that serves to integrate the operation of the thin disk-shaped traction motor housed in each wheel unit, Pivo 2 can also be easily maneuvered in ways that would be difficult with an ordinary vehicle. With the ability to control all four wheel units independently, with tire movements reminiscent of hand motions, Pivo 2 is also able to move sideways - an obvious benefit when negotiating tight parking spaces or congested streets.

Additionally, by allowing the car's orientation to be flexibly changed in any direction, Pivo 2's Metamo System not only enhances convenience, it also contributes to improved dynamic performance and safety. For example, the system automatically controls the position of the wheels according to the driving conditions to equalize the load on all four wheels. To accomplish this, the wheels are moved backward during vehicle acceleration, forward during deceleration and toward the outside of a turn while cornering. This load-distribution technology ensures stable driving without body lean during acceleration, deceleration and turning.

Exploring The Core of Future Environmental Technologies Today

Pivo 2 is another concrete expression of providing Nissan customers with friendly innovations and intelligent features in its vehicles. The application of numerous cutting-edge technologies has resulted in Pivo 2's compact package, unprecedented shape and in its movement never before seen in a road-going vehicle. Pivo 2 proposes a dream-filled possibility for electric-powered vehicles that are expected to be at the core of future environmental technologies, as well as a new connection between car and driver, with an "always enjoyable, everywhere convenient" state-of-mind.


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SOURCE: Nissan


2007  Tokyo

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