All major car manufacturers are trying to predict the future. It is important for them to be the first to prepare for it in order to offer the best, most innovative products that people will need and want. Now Nissan is testing some of its prediction in real life scenarios using its “Living Labs“, which provide company with a better idea of how future transportation needs are going to evolve.
Nissan is partnering with software companies and is trying to observe user behaviour. The goal is to be the first to offer products and services that transportation sector may require as mobility economy develops. This Japanese automaker is putting several different scenarios to the test, which are formulated taking into account trends, related to electric cars, autonomous vehicles, ride sharing services and so on. However, a particularly strong focus of these living labs is on changing vehicle ownership structures.
Nissan is aware of the emerging sharing economy. Inevitably, it is going to change the car industry as well. Therefore, Nissan is testing different sized and packaged vehicle solutions for ride sharing services. For example, last year company provided the Scoot Networks in San Francisco with 10 Nissan New Mobility Concept Vehicles. This helps Nissan research the mobility choices of city residents and to see how small electric vehicles fit into car sharing fleets. Furthermore, car sharing services may require specific technologies that are still being developed. For example, redistributing cars to their original spots could be a perfect application of autonomous cars.
Another area Nissan is interested in is new uses for electric vehicles, such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. It has been tested back in 2014, when Nissan partnered with U.S. Air Force to test modified Leaf cars, which could discharge power back into the gird through a series of bi-directional charging stations. This is very useful in times when power is in high-demand.
Rachel Nguyen, executive director, Nissan Future Lab, said: “The Future Lab team is exploring ‘Living Lab’ projects designed to help us better understand the real-world benefits of V2G technology for individual electric vehicle consumers and how it fits into their mobility lifestyle in the future”.
Car industry is changing rapidly. However, automotive brands are always trying to be the first to introduce a new product or a service to the market, in order to showcase themselves as very innovative leaders of the field. This is why Nissan Living Labs are so important for the brand.