Celebrating the Innovative World of Nissan

January 14th, 2022 by

A white 2021 Nissan LEAF is shown charging in a garage after leaving a Chicagoland used Nissan dealer.

The history of the automotive industry contains a wide array of subject matter. For over a century, there have been innovations, achievements, and inventions, all brought forth from visionaries, thinkers, and people with the ambition to look into the future and harness the technology to do so. First arriving in the United States in the late 1950s, Nissan has always brought intelligent design and cutting-edge innovation to the automobiles they manufacture. While their designs are well known to consumers, little is discussed in terms of the many items they’ve patented over the years. The next time you’re visiting Thomas Nissan, your Chicagoland used Nissan dealer, take a moment and have a closer look; there’s an array of inventions made from some of the brightest minds in the industry. If you’ve ever been curious about how one company can accomplish so much, then join us while we explore some of the wonderful and interesting things Nissan has patented for cars.

The Talking Car

If you’re a fan of classic television, then you might remember the show Knight Rider. David Hasselhoff and his trusty 1982 Pontiac Trans Am “KITT” solving crimes and conversing with one another. While it was a hit, and certainly the nostalgia hasn’t faded with time, it was Nissan who beat the world to the punch on this one. The 1981 Datsun (Nissan’s original name) Maxima and several of their Z models were the first equipped with the talking feature. Voice alerts such as “Right door is open ” and “fuel tank is low” were featured, and for a short while, many competitors thought of adopting similar technologies.

e-Power Control Technology

Nissan developed one of the most effective powertrains in the industry today, one that generates electricity for the automobile and is 100% driven by the motor. This advanced technology manages the control over the engine, having it exert as little as possible to ensure a quiet ride when it’s needed and adding more control when it’s necessary to provide you with comfort and safety.

A black 2020 Nissan Titan is shown towing a boat near a body of water.

Trailer Brake Operation From the Steering Wheel

Towing and pickup trucks go together like coffee and cream. If we based all of our first-hand knowledge of towing on truck commercials and reputation, we might be led to assume that only Ford and Chevrolet are capable of building trucks with large towing capacities. However, it was Nissan that introduced the concept of having control over the brakes of your trailer from the steering wheel. Towing anything requires a lot of work, and exerting control over the trailer’s braking ability is easier than ever, thanks to this addition on all Nissan Titan models made in 2020 and onward.

Rear Door Alert

One of the reasons that automobile manufacturers are always striving for groundbreaking innovations when it comes to safety is simple–they’re drivers, too. Nissan recently announced one of their newest inventions, the rear door alert. Designed by a pair of engineers who also happen to be mothers, this system is put in place to remind you of important items that are still in the backseat. A system of honks will sound if the rear door is not opened, so there’s no excuse for leaving groceries in the backseat and having the milk go bad.

Take Off Sound

Let’s be realistic for a moment; life gets busy and hectic at the drop of a hat. Being on the go during the workweek means rushing from place to place with little chance of taking a break (or ‘brake’). Take-off sound is another one of Nissan’s inventions to benefit the people who cross your path on a daily basis. Take-off sound is a smart technology that lets pedestrians know when you’re braking or accelerating. Using this device when you’re commuting in school zones or areas where a lot of children are present is added protection for the world around you.

Low Barrier Detection

Nissan understands that while you’re a careful driver who exercises caution on the road, you can’t keep your eyes on every point at once. If you’re driving a truck or sport utility vehicle, you already have an elevated ground clearance which itself creates a natural blind spot, the area right in front of your front end. Low Barrier Protection keeps an extra set of eyes on the road ahead for you and can alert you to road obstructions and low barriers such as speed bumps and parking barriers. This can help you protect your tires and front bumper from sustaining accidental damage and is another way that Nissan looks after your best interests.

A white 2020 Nisan Rogue Sport is shown from the front driving on a highway.

Blind Spot and Forward Collision Warning

Driver assistance technology is one of the single most important breakthroughs in the automotive industry. While the most reliable form of safety behind the wheel is an experienced and knowledgeable driver, driver assistance technology allows added protection for not just the driver but the pedestrians that also take up considerable space on the road. Nissan’s Blind Spot Warning and Forward Collision Warning systems don’t just give the gift of sight but also depth perception. Color-coated schemes help the driver gauge the distance from the object to the vehicle. This way, you can make memories and not take chances on your road trips.

The Nissan LEAF

One of the biggest trends to occur within the automotive industry as of late is the mass production of the EV (electric vehicle). In the past few years, several manufacturers have turned their attention to producing more EV’s that are not only safe and comfortable but offer top-tier performance and are affordable to the average consumer. This seismic shift is partly due to Nissan introducing the LEAF in 2009. While Nissan didn’t invent the electric hybrid with zero emissions, but this was the first EV to be produced on a massive scale. This is an innovation that marks a change for the greater good.

Brain-to-Vehicle Technology

The human brain is a storehouse of information and one of the last frontiers to be explored and fully understood. The capabilities of the mind are said to be limitless. Nissan’s Brain-to-Vehicle technology is set to actually decode the complexity of the human brain in order to allow for a more comfortable ride by detecting discomfort and allowing for quicker reaction time when necessary. The brain is much like a computer, sending an array of signals via the nervous system to make the body react to various changes in the environment. This will allow reaction times to be sped up by milliseconds and will create a safer driving experience overall.

The Future and Not a Question of “How?” but “When?”

It’s been well documented that necessity is the mother of all inventions. While it’s unlikely that talking cars will make a comeback in the foreseeable future, Nissan has proved to be a manufacturer that hasn’t just progressed with the times; they’ve continually been on the cutting edge of engineering and safety. The inventions and innovations that we’ve listed here are a testimony to that. The automotive industry has been in a perpetual state of evolution since the first cars began rolling off the assembly lines. However, in a world that’s been more and more uncertain and known for its unpredictability, it’s more than safe to assume that Nissan will continue to develop concepts and ideas that will benefit us in ways we never knew were possible.