The Nissan IMx KURO was unveiled today at the Geneva International Motor Show, marking the European debut of the IMx electric crossover concept vehicle. Kuro, which means black in Japanese, comes to life on the IMx, which was first revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2017, with new look black trim and wheels, an updated grille and a new dark grey body colour.
The Nissan IMx KURO provides a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. The innovative concept vehicle is designed to strengthen the link between car and driver as a close, reliable partner that delivers a safer, more convenient and more exciting drive.
Upgrades to the Nissan IMx KURO also include the integration of Nissan’s pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology. B2V interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle’s autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver.
Jose Munoz, Nissan’s chief performance officer, said: “The IMx KURO zero-emission crossover concept vehicle embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s commitment to changing the way people and cars communicate, as well as how cars interact with society in the near future and beyond.”
At the core of the Nissan IMx KURO’s technological features is a future version of ProPILOT that offers fully autonomous operation. When ProPILOT drive mode is selected, the system stows the steering wheel inside the dashboard and reclines all seats, giving the driver more space and allowing the vehicle’s occupants to relax and enjoy their commute. When Manual drive mode is selected, the vehicle returns the steering wheel and seats to their original position, seamlessly transferring control back to the driver.
The B2V technology featured in the Nissan IMx KURO promises to speed up reaction times for drivers and will lead to cars that keep adapting to make driving more enjoyable. This breakthrough from Nissan is the result of research into using brain decoding technology to predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort:
By catching signs that the driver’s brain is about to initiate a movement – such as turning the steering wheel or pushing the accelerator pedal – driver assist technologies can begin the action more quickly. This can improve reaction times and enhance manual driving.
By detecting and evaluating driver discomfort, artificial intelligence can change the driving configuration or driving style when in autonomous mode.
Nissan’s B2V technology is the world’s first system of its kind. The driver wears a device that measures brain wave activity, which is then analysed by autonomous systems. By anticipating intended movement, the systems can take actions – such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car – 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible.
The Nissan IMx KURO zero-emission concept vehicle adopts Nissan’s new electric vehicle platform, designed for maximum efficiency. It allows the floor to be completely flat, resulting in a cavernous cabin and enhanced driving dynamics. With a low centre of gravity, the chassis delivers sharp handling that promises to redefine the crossover segment.
The powerful, yet quiet powertrain delivers enhanced excitement. The IMx KURO is propelled by a pair of high-output electric motors at the front and rear, giving it all-wheel-drive capability. They combine to produce 320kW of power and an astounding 516lbft of torque – more than the Nissan GT-R supercar – sourced from a high-capacity battery that’s been redesigned and re-engineered for increased energy density. This new battery supports a driving range of more than 370 miles on a single charge, so occupants can enjoy an extended adventure without worrying about recharging.
The Nissan IMx KURO can also contribute to the social infrastructure like no other vehicle before it. For example, after transporting its owner to the airport, the IMx KURO can park itself in a spot where the vehicle can connect to the local power grid and act as a “virtual” power plant by returning electricity to the grid, an extension of its vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-building features. Once the owner returns, the IMx KURO can pick them up at the terminal and drive home. The whole process is carried out efficiently, thanks in part to the increased battery capacity and connected-car technologies, including Seamless Autonomous Mobility.
The car’s panoramic OLED instrument panel displays a view of the external environment in the background. A separate, wood grain-patterned display, positioned below the instrument panel and wrapping around the interior door trims, gives occupants a subtle sense of the outside, similar to shoji, a traditional Japanese paper screen.
The diagonal pattern on the seats has been delicately etched with a laser cutter. The head rest – patterned like kumiki, a Japanese interlocking wood puzzle – is made from silicon-material cushioning and a frame produced by a 3D printer.
Artificial intelligence enables the driver to control the instrument panel with eye movements and hand gestures. This intuitive interface results in fewer physical controls and switches, making the cabin of the IMx simple, yet highly efficient, and adding to its supreme comfort.