Safety First

Nissan arms 10 models with standard Safety Shield 360 for 2021

The Nissan Sentra offers the most standard safety features in its class.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan is arming 10 of the models in their lineup with their Safety Shield 360 technology as standard equipment for the 2021 model year. The suite of safety technologies includes six active systems.

"Offering these safety technologies as standard equipment on 10 of our most popular models is an important step forward," said Andy Christensen, senior manager and lead technology expert of Intelligent Transportation System Research, Nissan Technical Center North America. "This added layer of protection can help keep young drivers safe especially as they are getting used to being on busy roads."

2021 Nissan Rogue The 2021 Nissan Rogue will have Safety Shield 360Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The six systems include:

  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection - uses forward-facing radar and camera technology to track vehicles and crossing pedestrians, can give audible and visual warnings and apply braking to help avoid or reduce the severity of frontal collisions
  • Lane departure warning – can alert driver of drifting from lane with a visual warning and audible or haptic signals
  • Automatic high beams – automatically switches to low beam headlights when it detects a vehicle ahead and turns the high beams back on when appropriate
  • Blind spot warning – helps spot vehicles in driver's blind spot areas
  • Rear cross-traffic alert – can warn the driver about detected approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking spot
  • Rear automatic braking – helps detect stationary objects when backing up and, if necessary, applies the brakes to help avoid a collision.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vehicles equipped with Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking experience a 56 percent reduction in crashes with injuries. IIHS also reports that back-up crashes went down by 78 percent in vehicles equipped with Rear Automatic Braking and by 22 percent in vehicles with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Safety Shield 360 is currently standard on the Nissan Sentra, Leaf, Maxima, Kicks, Rogue Sport, and Titan. It will be standard on the 2021 Rogue when it reaches dealerships and three additional models that are TBA. Those three models are likely to be the redesigned Pathfinder, Frontier, and Armada.

With the suite of technology, Sentra and Rogue have the most standard safety features in their respective classes.

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The QX60 is all-new for 2022.

Infiniti

Infiniti has released detailed specs and features for its all-new QX60 SUV. The upscale family hauler will land later this year with a reasonable starting price, updated tech, a nicely appointed cabin, and plenty more. The automaker offers its new SUV in four trims, each of which is available with all-wheel drive: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Autograph.

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available, and all models get a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti says that the gearbox has a low first gear that helps deliver better acceleration and power off the line, and taller upper gears for smoother cruising on the highway. The revised all-wheel drive system is more responsive and engages more quickly than the system in the previous model.


2022 Infiniti QX60 The QX60 gets leather and several luxury features as standard kit. Infiniti


An upgraded interior is in the cards for the new QX60, as all models now get leather, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Front passengers' backsides are treated to Infiniti's excellent zero-gravity seats and a stiffer second-row seat frame reduces vibration and noise in the cabin. Infiniti says that the cabin itself has more sound-deadening materials and thicker glass in the second row, which together yield a 7 percent improvement in noise on the highway.


2022 Infiniti QX60 A digital gauge cluster comes on all but the base model.Infiniti


A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports, nine speakers, HD Radio Bluetooth, voice commands, and SiriusXM radio are also standard. All but the base Pure trim level come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the top Autograph model gets a 10.8-inch full-color head-up display and a smart rearview mirror.

The new QX60 goes on sale this fall in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $47,875 for the base Pure model and tops out at $64,275 for the top Autograph AWD trim.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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