► Minicar concept ponders future of motoring
► More screens inside than Argos
► Aimed at car-denying ‘sharing natives’
Brace yourself. This isn’t going to be comfortable reading. Not only does this new Nissan ‘Teatro for Dayz’ concept have a really awkward name, it is also – if you believe the hype – another portend for the death of car enthusiasm amongst young people. An End of Dayz mobile, if you like.
But you probably don’t. So first things first: the basics.
What exactly is the Nissan Teatro for Dayz concept?
That’s the ticket. Pared back to its fundamentals, the Nissan Teatro for Dayz is all-electric Kei car. That’s the ‘minicar’ class that complies with a strict set of Japanese regulations governing footprint and – where fitted, which isn’t here – internal combustion engine capacity. It’s a boxy, practical looking thing, rather than a sporty little number (so not a Honda S660 rival), with rounded pushme-pullyou visuals that bring to mind the late (lamented?) Nissan Cube.
And like the Cube, it’s intended to thrill not through its driving experience, but as a means of transforming the car into something more… social. But where the Cube offered sofa-style seating and crazy shag-pile accessories, the Teatro for Dayz presents itself as a technologically enabled blank canvas for digital natives. Which is to say it’s totally packed with display screens.
Uh-oh. Digital natives? I’m breaking out in buzzword fever already…
The term digital natives – as you, dear website reader, are no doubt aware – refers to the generation that’s grown up surrounded by constantly connected digital devices, such as the phone, table or computer you are currently perusing.
Nissan product planning general manager Hidemi Sasaki has further identified that these pesky young imps especially enjoy capturing their experiences on camera and sharing them – either in person or virtually, usually via social media. He calls those most engrained with this process ‘share natives’.
Put those painkillers down.
What has this got to do with the car in general, and the Teatro for Dayz in particular?
Nissan has long been concerned that this connected generation (sorry) has transferred its associations of freedom from the car to its – let’s face it, far more affordable – digital devices. Meaning that while the driving licence was once a key rite of passage, a checkbox in the transition from child to adult or dependent to independent, it’s now more of a potential millstone comprised of expensive purchase, maintenance and running costs in a world where you no longer physically need to see your friends to comprehensively communicate with them.
Nissan’s experimental efforts to counteract what it apparently sees as a terrifying erosion of its future audience include the iDX concepts from Tokyo 2013 and the Gripz concept from Frankfurt 2015. Now the Teatro for Dayz is looking to take things even further at Tokyo 2015.
Why should ‘sharing natives’ be interested in the Nissan Teatro for Dayz?
Almost every surface inside the Teatro for Dayz is imagined as a display screen. This includes the seats, the entire dashboard and the steering wheel – thus allowing for immersive digital customisation.
Here’s Hidemi Sasaki on car-related sharing native trends:
‘First, they tend to look beyond the car’s basic role of transportation. They want a car to be a versatile tool for creativity like a smartphone. This is different from customising a car. It is more like the ability to modify a car to meet their mood at the moment. Share natives will use cars in ways we would never imagine. So we thought from the perspective of designing a car that would serve as a canvas for their inspiration.’
As such, the screens mean you can change the interior look as easily as the background wallpaper on your phone, there’s an onboard camera to capture the moment and the connectivity to continuously share it.
Any technical details on the Nissan Teatro for Dayz concept?
Naturally, it’s an EV. Partly because the connected generation is entirely used to charging their devices at home (and any other available opportunity), and partly because all that stored juice is ideal for topping up all the other electronic equipment we carry about now.
Nissan hasn’t specified a driving range, but says the Teatro for Dayz is ‘ample for short commutes’. So the ‘for Dayz’ part is presumably internet bravado, then? Teatro is Italian for theatre, which perhaps partially explains the external LED displays, which can show charging status and other items of interest to passing reality victims.