Last week during the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan teamed up with Lucasfilm, the creators and producers of the “Star Wars” franchise, to help promote its new semi-autonomous vehicles.
The multinational automobile manufacturer has revealed plans to create a fully autonomous vehicle in the near future. But, in the meantime, it has focused all efforts on its new semi-autonomous car model.
In 2018, Nissan’s new vehicle models will include standard automatic emergency braking, in addition to a feature called ProPilot assist, which performs steering and braking functions for the driver at highway speeds.
To help explain these features to potential customers, the Japanese automakers used “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for some inspiration.
“People understand drones and force fields,” the Nissan Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Media Jeremy Tucker said. “People talk about brakes and airbags, but cars offer so much more these days.”
In conjunction with all the other driver-assistance technology that will be embedded into the new semi-autonomous models, Nissan has decided to reference them all as Safety Shield features. These features include the ProPilot Assist, which officially launched in the 2018 Nissan Leaf and Nissan Rogue this fall.
This marks the second year in a row that Nissan teams up with Lucasfilm to produce special versions of its cars for promotional purposes.
According to Tucker, Lucasfilm helped “reimagine” a total of seven vehicles, including the Altima and Maxima sedans, the Rogue SUVs and the Titan pickup.
Once the models were chosen by the production company, they were matched with several different characters featured in the “Star Wars” films.
Lucasfilm collaborated heavily with the Nissan design team in a California workspace, where they created several different versions of the semi-driverless cars.
The vehicles were then sent to a vehicle design company located near Los Angeles to be made. Vehicles for the “Justice League” film and the “Fast and Furious” franchise were also put together by the same company.
One of the vehicles has been coined the “Maxima Kylo Ren” and includes under lighting inspired by the infamous character’s lightsaber.
“Kylo Ren is such an iconic character… in the ‘Star Wars’ universe,” Tucker says. “We told the stories of our models, and they told us the story they’re telling in the movie.”
Even though the special edition cars won’t be up for sale, they will be hitting several different auto shows throughout the country.
The company will, however, put up certain “Star Wars”-themed parts for sale in select local Nissan dealerships.
These new semi-autonomous vehicles are set to pave the way for Nissan to develop fully autonomous cars by 2022.