Nissan Truck Sports An Onboard Drone To Aid In Rescues

Nissan Truck Sports An Onboard Drone To Aid In Rescues

The pickup uses a battery-powered quadcopter to help save lives in remote areas

Anna Johansson
  • 5 october 2016

A major feature being advertised in cars now is a panic button of sorts for those who find themselves in trouble. Whether you slid off the road during a snowstorm or got a flat tire on the way home from soccer practice, this alert button is extremely comforting for drivers who know they can push it and have help instantly on the way. But an SOS button isn’t much good if you don’t have a sturdy vehicle that can handle the rescue. Nissan hopes to present such a vehicle with their Nissan Navara EnGuard, which is being equipped with an onboard drone and a portable power supply that can help with the rescue.

The Navara EnGuard rescue vehicle is still a concept that was displayed at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show. When it’s finished, Nissan says that it will be able to handle the most extreme and remote of environments.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the EnGuard is the onboard DJI Phantom 4 drone.

“Key to the car’s rescue role is a drone, a DJI Phantom 4 with an operating ceiling of 6,000 meters,” a press release stated. “Weighing just 1,380 grams, it can fly at speeds of up to 20 meters per second for close to 30 minutes and can relay images back to the concept car. These are viewed on a pop-up HD screen hidden in the load bed wall.”

onboard drone nissan truck
The integrated drone has many uses in a rescue situation, but among the most common will be reconnaissance. The drone can fly overhead and survey dangerous terrain before rescue personnel enter the space. If there are risky toxins in the air, hidden cliffs, or dangerous wildlife in the vicinity, the drone will see them first and reduce the risk of additional casualties.

It’s based on the Navara Double Cab Tekna model, which is one of Nissan’s most rugged vehicles. The EnGuard will be an all-terrain emergency vehicle that has the capability of going off-road and off-grid to rescue people in times of distress. Nissan even boasts that their new pickup truck will have the power to tow other hefty vehicles out of the worst terrain.

The EnGuard’s integrated power system runs off a wrapped Nissan Leaf-based battery cell nestles inside weatherproof aluminum. When all is said and done, this battery can create two 2kW power blocks to be used outside the generator. This means that if someone is hurt or you need extra power to get a vehicle up and moving, you’ll have two generators to power all of your tools.

The battery is unique to Nissan, according to the press release:

“[This] marks the world debut of a prototype portable battery pack, designed and developed by Nissan,” it states.

“It utilizes the brand’s tried and tested EV battery technology, already available on the road in the 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF and e-NV200. With more than 250,000 Nissan EVs sold worldwide, the company is at forefront of this fast-developing sector and ideally placed to apply its expertise to explore new vehicle sectors and consumer opportunities in the future.”

onboard drone
The sleek, overall efficient design of the vehicle was also impressive. The EnGuard is mostly white with neon green accents on the rims and step board so that it’s easy to define from other pickups. The shade of green chosen was selected because it’s the most visible color in both daylight and darkness, even for those who suffer from color blindness. It’s easy to pick out when the vehicle is moving at high speeds as well, which could be integral if the endangered party needs to flag down the vehicle.

The design is also perfect for it’s newfound drone integration. It has a flat-top bed, which acts as a natural landing site for the recon drone. The EnGuard will also be well-equipped with anything needed on a rescue mission, including oxygen tanks, resuscitations kits, life jackets, two-way radios, rope, axes, and other survival necessities.

The power generators are also touted to be extremely eco-friendly. Since it’s based off the battery used in the Nissan Leaf, you can expect quiet operation with very few emissions, unlike the typical gas generator.

The EnGuard is not the first aerodynamic, high-powered rescue vehicle to hit the market, but it’s one of the first that can go far off the grid and still maintain power while using drone integration. The battery packs work together with the 2.3 liter twin-turbo diesel engine to keep it moving far longer than most vehicles could sustain.

“The Navara EnGuard Concept opens a new chapter in the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, featuring our commitment to zero fatalities and zero emissions,” stated Phillippe Guerin-Boutaud, Corporate Vice President of Nissan. “Our prototype EV portable battery pack reveals how Nissan will integrate its world-renowned EV battery technology and expertise into new sectors in the future.”

Nissan Navara EnGuard

+DJI Phantom 4 drone
+Nissan Navara EnGuard

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