ATSUGI, Japan — "You look like you had a bad day today."
"You seem tense. Relax."
"Have you been drinking?"
"By the way, I think the speed limit through here is 35. You should probably slow down just a tad."
"Are you sure you're OK to drive?"
"Hey, let me tell you a joke I just heard. A priest, a rabbi and a Nissan r&d engineer go into a bar to- gether ... "
Welcome to Nissan Motor Co.'s future world, a life in which your ever-sensitive, ever-alert driving partner is a sparkly eyed little dashboard robot who just wants you to be happy.
The onboard robot, in development here at Nissan's new technology center, is a serious component of Nissan's new concept for future vehicles. Nissan thinks many consumers are losing their emotional connection to their cars. Its solution: Give their cars a human iden-tity.