Here are the tech trends that will disrupt the Middle East's automotive industry
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Here are the tech trends that will disrupt the Middle East’s automotive industry

Here are the tech trends that will disrupt the Middle East’s automotive industry

Marco Fioravanti, region VP – Product Planning – Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania at Nissan Motor Co., explains how it looks forward to supporting vehicles become autonomous and electrified

What are the new tech trends that will disrupt the automotive industry in the Middle East?
Electrification is the main transformation the industry is going through. The other trend we are witnessing is that cars are becoming more autonomous. It is important to note that technologies are serving carbon neutral ambitions of automotive companies. These might not be consumer facing but are used within the manufacturing and supply chain.

Can you explain how autonomous vehicles operate?
By definition, an autonomous car is a vehicle capable of sensing its environment and operating with minimal human involvement. These cars rely on sensors, radar, laser, actuators, complex algorithms that allow extremely advanced machine learning systems to “sense” the environment and recreate it in a digital form. To support this process, advanced driving assistance of the new generation use the data included in the navigation system or even in dedicated 3D maps in order to integrate the information gathered by the vehicle sensors. Moreover, when available, smart infrastructures can contribute to reliably scan the environment, sending key information in real time to the vehicle.

Once the environment has been digitally re-created, finally, a complex advance artificial intelligence is able to autonomously take key driving decisions making our vehicles smarter, more responsive and extremely safe.

What are the barriers to widespread autonomous vehicles adoption? What are your views on the cybersecurity challenges?
As we see it, the key barriers to widespread autonomous vehicle adoption are threefold; customer use, driving environment and governmental regulations. Whilst we note that in the short-term these factors may slow the progress of mass adoption of autonomous vehicles; we believe that they are the necessary topics to address to ensure a seamless and successful integration.

It is true that the more connected our vehicles become, the more they will be open to vulnerabilities. To prepare for the future of self-driving cars with even more connected technology, it is important to protect connected cars from cyberattacks. Implementing stronger “firewall” to protect the core of the vehicle-technology, checking software for security flaws, collaborating with the wider tech and automotive industry to share information on cyberattack trends and hacking methods, and updating and extracting flaws in automotive software is important.

What role is Nissan playing to facilitate the growth of autonomous vehicles in the region?
For Nissan, the Middle East is an important market. Many of our latest vehicles are increasingly smart and connected. Like the Nissan Ariya is equipped with our intelligent mobility and autonomous driving. It combines advanced electric-vehicle technology with human-machine interface connectivity.

In the Middle East region, we premiered ProPILOT on Model Year 2021 Nissan Altima and more recently in the all-new Nissan Pathfinder. ProPILOT revolutionises the driving experience by combining our intelligent cruise control system with steering assist technologies for a glimpse into the abilities of autonomous driving. It makes driving easy and stress-free by automatically increasing or decreasing the vehicle’s speed to maintain a set distance from the car ahead. It is coupled with lane intervention – a feature that utilises a forward-facing camera to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane, along with a stop-and-hold function. We also aim to expand our ProPILOT technology to over 2.5 million Nissan and Infiniti vehicles by the 2026. We will also further develop our autonomous vehicle technologies, aiming to incorporate next generation LiDAR systems on virtually every new model by 2030.

We recently also announced Nissan Ambition 2030. This is our long-term vision to empower mobility and beyond. Under Ambition 2030, we will continue and accelerate our journey to become a truly sustainable company, driving towards a safer, cleaner, and more inclusive world. Over the next 10 years, Nissan will deliver electrified vehicles and technological innovations, that support our goal of becoming carbon neutral across operations and the lifecycle of our products by 2050.

Meanwhile, we are also the official automotive partner at Expo 2020 Dubai. It is another platform for us to showcase our efforts in shaping the future of mobility and highlight new innovations such as the Ariya. It is also a place for us to inspire, discuss and participate in strategic industry discussions with stakeholders.

Read: Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta outlines carmaker’s electrification strategy

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