By the end of the year, Nissan will, a bit belatedly, introduce their total plug-in, not range extended, all electric Leaf. They will also open a huge data center.
According to The Nikkei [sub], the location and other stats of the data center are strictly confidential. “But sources close to the company say the facility is equipped with quake protection and information-leak prevention systems so powerful it could even handle state secrets.” What do they need it for?
Nissan supposedly wants take a completely new way of selling vehicles. They want to use what they call an “iPod model” in the car industry.
“From now on, we will market cars based on the value of the information they provide,” said Toru Futami, expert leader at Nissan’s IT & ITS engineering department to the Nikkei.
Details are as shady as the exact location of the data center. The Nikkei could divine that “by connecting the facility and its cars through a high-speed wireless network, Nissan is able to receive driving information in real time. The system enables the driver to easily get information about such things as traffic jams and the location of charging stations.” Hmm. Big deal. Here’s another one:
“Because the data center stores a vast amount of information, including the number of times the car battery has been recharged, drivers will be able to calculate such things as how many more years a battery can be used and what value to place on it when the car is resold.” Nothing you need a big data center for, and nothing that would revolutionize the car market.
Now if Nissan could charge the Leaf while driving, that would be something. Don’t laugh. Theoretically possible. But then, reality sets in: Charging a Blackberry via WiFi in 3 hours is not the same as charging a 24kWh brute of a battery. So what do they really need that data center for?