ATSUGI, Japan — Nissan Motor Co. is pushing out its first substantial burst of new vehicle technologies in more than a decade.
Next month, the company's new Infiniti EX35 crossover will give a driver a bird's-eye view of the car, looking down from above to assist him into a tight parking space. The vehicle also will come with a "self-healing" clearcoat of paint developed with the help of Nippon Paint Co. The coating will react with sunshine and heat to erase light scratches over time.
But according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, those innovations are the tip of the iceberg. His promise: 15 new technologies a year starting in 2009.
Among them: Drunken driver detection that sniffs out the presence of alcohol in a driver's perspiration; passive steering correction that gently nudges an absent-minded driver back into the right lane; and a drowsiness warning that snaps the seat belt of a droopy-eyed driver to wake her up.
Nissan's 10-year strategy is to redefine itself as a technology leader — something it has not been for the past decade. To make that happen, the company has been staffing an advanced technology center here, which by year end will have 2,000 engineers working on new ideas.