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Nissan to add AEB to Navara in Australia

Waiting game: Nissan has offered advanced driver-assist technology such as autonomous emergency braking as standard on dual-cab Navara variants in Europe and the UK since launch in 2015.

Safety tech such as AEB coming for Aussie Navara after missing out since D23 launch

26 Feb 2018

NISSAN will add advanced safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to its Navara utility during this current lifecycle after Australian-spec vehicles missed out on the important driver-assist technology at launch of the D23/NP300 generation in 2015.

Two further updates over the past 12 months have also not seen AEB or related systems added to the Australian range.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the Series III Navara in Victoria last week, Nissan Motor Corporation’s chief product specialist for its global light-commercial vehicle business unit, Pedro de Anda, said Europe was deemed a priority market for AEB during the D23 Navara’s development program.

Mr de Anda said European NCAP’s move to add crash-avoidance systems such as AEB into its overall safety rating in 2014 figured in Nissan’s decision to ensure it was validated for vehicles produced at its plant in Barcelona, Spain, leaving other manufacturing bases such as Thailand – which produces the Navara for Australia – without the ability to include the technology from launch.

He also said the fact that Thai production of the D23 Navara started some months earlier than Europe had an impact on the scheduling of AEB validation.

“There’s always new technologies and improvements to the vehicle and we cannot launch everything at the same time to all markets,” Mr de Anda told GoAuto.

“So we prioritised the suspension, the ride and handling for Australia now (with Series II and Series III updates), but we will definitely see new features (such as AEB) for Navara.

“We will definitely see more autonomous-type technologies and assistant-type technologies for Navara.”

Mr de Anda said engineering validation work typically required six to 12 months for each factory and that it would be “a natural next step” to offer AEB in Australia for the D23 Navara.

“We have AEB already available in the European market and that will be a natural next step to have here in Australia,” he said.

“But we will not stop with AEB there is definitely more advanced safety features to come.

“It’s on the top ranking because it’s important for Australian customers.”

Nissan’s global LCV senior vice-president Ashwani Gupta added: “It’s very important to know that we are placing Navara as ‘tough and smart’ and we are going to strengthen this position more and more in future.

“The ‘tough’ comes from frame and powertrain, and ‘smart’ comes from the technology.

“So with Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is pulling the brand, we are going to deploy it and we have done it in Series III and we will keep on enriching this truck with smart solutions.”

Since launch in 2015, the UK-spec Navara built in Barcelona has had AEB fitted standard across the dual-cab range, while higher-spec versions have offered a 360-degree surround-view camera.

The latter has just been added to Australian variants with the Series III update launched last week.

Asked whether Nissan Australia had specifically requested AEB to be made available for this market, managing director Stephen Lester said: “I can’t really speculate on that.”

Mercedes, which uses the Barcelona-built Navara as the basis for its X-Class utility, has this week stolen the march on its joint-venture partner in Australia with news that its decision to offer AEB as standard across its utility range has handed it a maximum five-star safety rating under the Australasian NCAP’s tougher testing regime introduced this year.

Nissan also has a five-star rating for the D23/NP300 Navara, based on the testing procedures in Australia at launch in 2015.

If it was tested today, Navara might not qualify for the maximum rating, which has become an increasingly important factor in the buying decision of private and business/fleet customers alike.

ANCAP director of communications and advocacy Rhianne Robson told GoAuto today that “a well-performing autonomous emergency braking, lane support and/or speed assistance system is required to achieve five stars under current requirements”.

“This applies to all passenger, SUV and LCVs rated by ANCAP from this year,” she said.

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