Active safety is expanding rapidly. Nissan’s new Safety Shield 360 adds a bit of needed simplicity to important things family shoppers want but can’t name.
“Please tell us a bit about what’s important to you so we can help identify which vehicle and trim will best suit your needs.” If that’s not every salespersons’ introduction they aren’t doing it right. But how is an educated family vehicle shopper supposed to list out the huge list of safety items that they are looking for? “Oh, we’d like ABS and VSC of course, but also AEB, FCP, APD, LDP, HBA, BSW, RCTA, and RAB.” Every one of those safety acronyms is real and every one of them is found within the new Nissan Safety Shield 360 package. Sometimes marketing intersects with consumers’ needs in a very helpful way.
The debate over the effectiveness of systems such as forward collision prevention with automatic emergency braking (FCP and AEB) is over. IIHS did a blind study of the exact same models with and without this technology and the ones with it crashed less. A lot less. That was three years ago when such systems were in their first generation. We didn’t need the study to prove it worked. We had it save our bacon in a real-world test. And we aren’t alone. This technology works so well that automakers aren’t even waiting for the government to mandate its use. Toyota went first committing to adding key active safety systems to all of its mainstream vehicles, but since then pretty much every automaker has started to add in standard safety to the bulk of its models. It is now very rare for a vehicle in our test fleet to arrive without forward collision mitigation and automatic braking. Toyota has its own acronym for its system, TSS (Toyota Safety Sense). What we like about Nissan’s new suite of active standard safety system is the name ‘Safety Shield 360.” It has a nice old-school ring to it, and if I recommend it to a friend or family member they might remember it too. They are never going to remember me saying, “Be sure you get AEB, FCP, APD, LDP, BSW, RCTA, and RAB.”
Nissan will start with its 2019 Altima and Rogue, both on sale now. These are the company’s two top-selling car and crossover models. “Our philosophy is to bring Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies to market in our most popular and affordable vehicles,” said Denis Le Vot, chairman, Nissan North America. “Safety Shield 360 combines six advanced systems to give models like Altima and Rogue a class-leading package of technologies that can improve safety and the overall driving experience for Nissan owners.” Nissan expects to be selling one million vehicles in the U.S. by 2021 and in that same year to have the Safety Shield 360 package be standard on all six of its top-selling models. The part about the technology being standard matters. Why should families on a budget have to buy the $3,500 electric dog polisher package in order to get the safety systems they want? Base model buyers should be as safe as top-trim buyers. If you’re an old-school capitalist and feel otherwise, ask yourself if you’d prefer the teen texting behind you in traffic in a base model have automatic braking or not.
The temptation for us to dive deep at this point and explain all of the various Nissan systems and the individual acronyms is strong here at BestRide where we geeks love that stuff. Rather, let us just tell you instead what the stuff can do in plain English:
- Stop your car faster than you can in an emergency
- Stop the Safety Shield 360-equipped car behind you from slamming into yours if the numbskull isn’t paying attention
- Let you know if a 16-year old is barrelling down the aisle at Target as you try to back out of a space between two Ford F 350s.
- Stop you from backing over your kid’s Big Wheel (and maybe the kid too)
- Help you know if someone is just to the side and rear of your car – at night – in the rain – on the highway while you try to keep your eyes forward.
- Give you a heads up beep and nudge if you look away from the road and stray out of your lane (we all do it)
Nissan is clever to have come up with a phrase that is easy to remember. When you shop for your next Nissan be sure to tell the salesperson you want this on your Nissan. And if you shop for any other brand just tell them you want their equivalent to the “Nissan Safety Shield 360.” Let them pour over their brand’s acronyms and see if what they have to offer matches up. It will give you time to check out the hands-free internet shopping browser display.