Nissan hopes to transform in-vehicle safety with its newly launched Safety Shield package. The technology, which will ship with the new Nissan Note, brings a package of top of the line safety features to an affordable car.
Safety Shield comprises three parts. First is a blind-spot warning which can detect a vehicle in areas outside your wing mirror's vision. It will then switch on a warning light in the glass of the Note's wing mirror. Try to change lanes while something is in your blind spot and the Note will make a noise to alert you.
The next is to do with lane departure, and will let you know if you start drifting out of the correct lane or driving position. The system can also adjust by road type to suit driving style, depending on conditions.
The final part - and this is where the 30-degree vision element comes in - is the Around View Monitor System. Should you start to reverse when someone is moving behind the car, the Note will make a sound to warn you. We know this sounds like a normal parking aid, but this can track moving objects.
All the systems are controlled by one single, convex lens mounted on the back of the Note. The convex nature of the lens means that it gives the Around View system a 180-degree field of vision. Nissan has also designed a dirt-scanning system which will clean the lens whenever it becomes dirty, so it always functions perfectly.
Coupled with this is the car's ability to display a live aerial view of the whole vehicle on its dashboard display. Audi has a similar system which we tested in the A6, but we expect Nissan's option will be quite a lot cheaper.
In fact, access to all this technology is normally reserved for the more expensive side of motoring. Nissan plans to change that with the new Note, which is due to ship in autumn this year.
We love the idea of all the safety tech in the new Note. But it does make us think of having HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey strapped to the car, with that big, single, convex lens watching over us.
"Open the Note's doors HAL" ... nah.