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Nissan Details "Forest AC" Air Conditioning System

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Nissan Details "Forest AC" Air Conditioning System

Air conditioning is old hat in this age of wirelessly powered electric cars, but Nissan has found a way to spice things up a little with its 'Forest AC' system which, to quote, "systematically controls cabin temperature, ventilation, aroma and humidity to create an optimal interior environment." And yes, you did read "aroma" there.

The thinking behind Forest AC is that by turning the environment inside a vehicle into a simulacrum of a relaxing forest setting, by altering fan speeds to emulate wind, pumping in fragrances and altering humidity levels, drivers can simultaneously have their awareness heightened while also becoming more relaxed. That sounds a little oxymoronic, but of course by 'relaxed' Nissan means 'unstressed' as opposed to 'lethargic' which is no bad thing.

The aroma in question will come from a replaceable "aroma cartridge" which should last for a year without changing. The aromas in question are borneol - which "combines a compound made from fragrant Kapur wood, lavender and other essential oils to promote calm and focus" - and leaf alcohol, which is "thought to have a calming effect and reduce fatigue."

These aromas are combined with another element of Forest AC, called "Breezy Air" which varies the volume of air flowing through various vents in order to emulate the feel of wind, in combination with external sunlight and temperature sensors to ensure all passengers remain comfortable. The combined effect of Breezy Air and Forest AC's aromas is to keep those subjected to it alert and focussed, but free of tension.

Forest AC also employs humidity control to eliminate condensation on windows, but also to help prevent the cabin from becoming too dry - as can happen when using some air conditioning systems. Specifically, a humidity level of 30 to 55 per cent, rather than a more typical 20 percent is maintained.

Further still, Forest AC offers automatic intake control, which uses sensors in the ventilation system to switch between inside and outside air depending on the quality of the external supply and a "high-performance" filter, for removing pollen, odours and allergens, is also featured. Last up is a "plasmacluster ion" system, which purports to sterilise air and kill germs in the cabin.

All of this sounds perhaps just a little far fetched, or prototype in nature, but Nissan is entirely serious. Forest AC will debut in the Nissan Fuga, which is planned to launch this financial year, and is likely to turn up in other Nissan cars afterwards. Just expect it to be a fairly expensive option.

Links:

Nissan.

Via Auto Blog.

stevecost

July 27, 2009, 9:55 pm

how well would this system cope with 4 adults suffering from the effects of a curry-night washed down with pints of guiness? now, that would be stress-testing of any aroma system...

chrisjordan2008

July 27, 2009, 10:11 pm

this is quite honestly the dumbest thing i've ever heard of!

MrGodfrey

July 27, 2009, 11:36 pm

Is it really, honestly the dumbest thing you've ever heard of? Chris, you need to get out and hear more dumb things :P





Surely we can agree that air conditioning makes driving a much more pleasant experience. If Nissan can make it even more comfortable, why would I complain? The humidity control sounds particularly useful. I also have no problem with the idea of a more advanced filter to ensure that pollen and the smell of manure are kept at bay. I can see how the variable airflow would help too. For me the only potential problem is the "aroma", as they'd have to get it EXACTLY right and even then it won't appeal to everyone.





Admittedly, when you take the initial cost into account, I think most of us will stick with hanging a Magic Tree from the mirror for now...

Premfab

July 28, 2009, 12:01 am

This is Nissan admitting that they simply cannot build good cars (GTR is the exception) and are now focussing on useless features ....





Also, when this goes wrong (and it will cos it's made by Nissan), I can just imagine the head-scratching by the tecnicians in the garage because they know nothing about fixing this.

Chocoa

July 28, 2009, 12:50 am

I know I'm an old cynic.... but, why oh why does everything in life have to have a pong/smell attached to it? You cant'(supposedly) walk into a room, use a paper tissue to blow your nose, go to the loo etc etc.. and now get in a car without being transported into olfactory deprivation/overload! <end rant>


I find driving a pleasure - please don't spoil it Nissan ( car industry!


@ Prem ( first para) yea, you hit the nail there mate!

WyWyWyWy

July 28, 2009, 2:13 pm

Why is everyone so against innovation? I personally think its great (except its name and maybe the price). And its optional anyway you dont even have to have it if you dont want to. I bet people said the same thing when automatic gearboxes, climate control, in-car TV, etc first came out.





And as for head-scratching, well that goes for pretty much every new technology in every new car. Prem you mentioned the GTR, do you think the technicians in the garage would know much about fixing a GTR?

TheEvilGenius

July 28, 2009, 3:38 pm

Pretty certain if I mentioned my car had a plasmacluster ion system in it, people would think I was nuts.





I quite like the idea, however. I agree with MrGodfrey: they'll have to get the smell bang on. I've lost track of the number of "Forest" scents that actually smell like bathroom cleaner.

MrGodfrey

July 28, 2009, 4:53 pm

Prem: I'm sorry you seem to have had bad experiences with Nissan. I have not, and afraid I'll have to disagree on the quality of their cars.

Tony Walker

July 30, 2009, 9:30 am

Chocoa my mate, couldn't agree with you more.





The worst are those perfume spraying things that have been appearing in office toilets this last year or so. They make a sound like a disgruntled puff adder and "mace" you as you walk past them.

Tony Walker

July 30, 2009, 9:32 am

The nicest smell in a new car is that "new car" smell - especially if you've got leather seats. I don't want some poxy smelly rubbish stopping me from getting that experience.

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