Think small cars aren’t safe? Nissan is interested in changing that perception.
The Invitation is a concept car set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March that is a preview of an upcoming subcompact from the automaker packed with cutting edge technology to assist in both avoiding accidents and mitigating their effects.
Along with Nissan’s Around View monitor, which uses cameras paced around the car to create a virtual bird’s-eye view of its surroundings to help the driver maneuver through tight spaces, the Inviation is a showcase of the company’s so-called Safety Shield Technologies.
Using a combination of cameras and radar, Safety Shield monitors the area around the car and can intervene in several ways if a threat is detected. Details exactly what systems will be featured on the Invitation are yet to be revealed, but other versions of Safety Sheild are able to automatically brake the car if an obstacle appears in front of it, override the accelerator if it is determined that there is a pedal misapplication in progress, and actively steer the car away from vehicles in its blind spot if the driver attempts to change lanes. In the event of a collision, the car can autonomously contact emergency services.
The styling of the Invitation is a big step up from the company’s current small car offerings, with a sleek , modern exterior and a cabin design that takes the high-tech look of the interior of the Nissan Leaf electric car to the next level, with higher-grade materials and a flat-screen interface seamlessly integrated in to the center console. The Invitation is expected to be powered by an internal combustion engine.
The production version of the Invitation is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in 2013, but Nissan hasn’t yet said if U.S. sales will follow.