Nissan Navara Dark Sky concept shows enhancement potential


Let's start with the star of the show, the Navara Dark Sky Concept.

Okay, Nissan's latest concept, Dark Sky, is essentially a modified Navara pick-up truck with a trailer attached.

The second puzzle piece of this concept, the Navara pickup, stands as burly and ready to go as the trailer.

Unveiled at Hannover Motor Show, the Dark Sky Concept was created to venture off-road to areas of low light pollution - the eponymous "Dark Sky" regions - to stargaze.

Since red light affects human night vision least, both the vehicle and trailer exclusively use red lighting to avoid visual disruption during observations.

ProPILOT enhances the driver's control by combining Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies. Meanwhile, the blind spot warning and intelligent around-view monitor systems have been adjusted to account for the 13-ft (4-m) trailer. Using a 40-centimeter (primary) mirror, it has the ability to give detailed views beyond the rings of Saturn, to distant galaxies, nebulae and supernovas.

The trailer, which has a mechanised roof to protect the telescope and allow access when stargazing, contains a state-of-the-art Planewave telescope and other astronomical equipment, with a battery pack in both the auto and the trailer catering for the additional electrical needs over the car's battery. A secure towing hitch combined with a sturdy ladder-frame chassis; a 2.3-liter, 190 ps twin-turbo diesel engine; and 450 Nm of torque enable the Navara to tackle rough terrain in remote areas and easily handle the telescope module's weight.

Inside, the Navara is packed with Nissan's ProPILOT driving assistant technology which provides autonomous-like driving capability, while the seats are uniquely trimmed to match the space explore theme.

Upon arrival, the Navara's intelligent radars and camera sensors scan the terrain to identify the best location to park and stabilize the trailer, ensuring that the observation mission gets off on solid footing.

Nissan plans to work with ESA to donate the telescope as part of their educational outreach initiatives following the Hannover Motor Show.