Text and photos by Genevieve Tiu
Technology is often a concept that we read about, but rarely experience. With the speed at which it shifts, there seems to be no catching up to it. In recent years, it has expanded into a new industry — motoring. Self-driving technology is only one part of the story. What is important to the here and now are features that are instantly relevant to the regular consumer.
These are features for the everyday driver, whether a newbie learning the ropes for the first time, a seasoned professional, or simply a soccer mom who makes a daily commute for her family. Enter Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM). Nissan Philippines, Inc. gave us a taste of what it is like to get behind the wheel of the 2018 X-Trail and experience the advantage that its brand of “automation” has to offer.
The Nissan team, headed by Senior Marketing Manager, Dax Avenido, shuttled select members of the media to La Union, on board the perfect vehicle for people smuggling, the Urvan. The new Urvan Premium was quite the ride — it answered the public clamor for a wider body and, finally, a 5-speed automatic transmission, while also upgrading its basic features. The larger seating capacity meant that the entire contingent traveled in just 3 vans, with each person comfortably occupying one seat, and has ample space for both head and leg rooms.The seats were adjustable and leans back the same way that an aircraft seat would, perfect for stretching out and settling in for a long journey. Most of us will agree — the ride itself was smooth, surprising for a large van, that everyone pretty much got to snooze their way to La Union, a province known for its softbroom, hand woven blankets and rice wine.
However, what we traveled for waited at the end of the journey, at Thunderbird Resort, where a special customized driving track was built. After Nissan product planner, Cyrus Macasera gave a refresher on the Nissan Intelligent Mobility concept, the afternoon’s activities officially opened. Four units of the 2018 X-Trail were driven up to La Union specially for the weekend. These were the enhanced version of the popular compact crossover, now upgraded with the advanced Intelligent Mobility technologies, fresher styling, and better performance.
The first NIM demo touched on the moving object detection and rear cross traffic alert, with the instructor showing how the four pre-installed cameras in the X-Trail worked together to give the driver a 360-degree visual perspective. The second demo was an actual ride, highlighting the blind spot warning signal, a very useful smart sensor that acts as a driver’s “third-eye” where he cannot see. Once we were moving at 30km/h, the sensor engaged and a blinking orange light came on in the direction where a convoy deliberately drove in close to the car’s blind spot. The third activity was the most interactive, as the attendees were invited to drive a blacked-out X-Trail to try the around-view monitor — the windshield, driver’s and front passenger windows were all covered with sunshade, rendering the driver blind and completely dependent on the NIM sensor system! It was a unique experience; unnerving and challenged our instincts, but was the best demonstration of how useful the NIM system can be.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility is all about creating a community between cars and people, and it was highlighted best in the new X-Trail. As NPI President and Managing Director, Ramesh Narasimhan said, “With Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our customers can enjoy each adventure as they drive safe and sound. We want them to treat the new X-Trail as a partner that looks out for them so they can have a fun and hassle-free time on the road.”
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