Is One Company Taking License Plate Reading Technology Too Far?

License PlateLicense plate readers that are used by law enforcement and scan plates, instantly comparing them to criminal databases became a reality in nearly every city and town across the country before we even knew it was happening. Naturally, privacy advocates have raised concerns about the systems, asking who has access, how long the data is stored, and what limits should be placed on law enforcement’s use of such technology.

According to Yahoo Autos, a private company who is building a database of license plate snapshots is fighting back against legislation that limit its business, claiming it has a First Amendment right to photograph cars. Vigilant Solutions aims to “improve safety for officers and communities while providing needed law enforcement intelligence”.

Company founder and chief executive Shawn Smith called the technology “a critical tool that has helped law enforcement solve thousands of violent crimes and enabled insurance and financial services companies to repossess stolen and delinquent vehicles.”

There are two sides to the debate; on one hand, law enforcement officials claim license plate readers and databases help solve, and even prevent crimes, while some individuals and privacy advocates think it’s just more personal information than they need.

What do you think? Does a license plate database keep us safe, or is it a violation of our privacy?

Amazon Secret Locker is Nissan Marketing Ploy

2014 Nissan RogueSometimes, you need a little help from your friends—or in Nissan’s case, Amazon.com. In a new joint marketing ploy, the two companies came together to plant a mysterious, massive Amazon locker in the middle of San Francisco. The locker, which goes by the name “Giant,” was first spotted last week near the city’s Ferry Building, causing many people to question what its purpose was. These questions were soon answered when a large Nissan logo appeared on the structure with the hashtag #giantlocker.

The two companies are asking passerby to comment about the locker using the hashtag. Those who participate receive the chance to earn a code that opens the doors, enabling them to win a variety of prizes, including Amazon music downloads. One participant will even win the change to win a new Nissan Rogue!

While we might not have a giant locker here in Beckley, West Virginia, you can still stop by Lewis Nissan and take a 2014 Nissan Rogue out for a test drive! We promise, you won’t need a secret code to do it.

Nissan Murano Sets High Bar for New Nissan Vehicle Design

2014 Nissan MuranoThe third-generation Nissan Murano is coming to town very soon; you’ll be able to find it here in our inventory at Lewis Nissan, so make sure to stay tuned for more news about the car’s release. In the meantime, you can watch this video, titled “Aerodynamic Improvements,” that reveals the finished new design of the Nissan Murano. The design is breath-taking, and it’s also a major clue to the brand’s future.

“At Nissan, design is our brand promise, a promise that pulls people into our vehicles where they will be treated to an exciting driving experience,” said Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura. “As the first of our new concept-based production vehicles coming to market, Murano sets our new standard.”

The Murano’s final design incorporates cues from many different spheres—from the original Murano to the sleek design of jets to the special and popular Resonance Concept. The result is a beautiful vehicle that hints at what the future of all new Nissan vehicles will look like.

Production of e-NV200, Nissan’s 2nd 100% EV, Opens in Barcelona

Nissan is hard at work to expand their portfolio of electric vehicles, with a special focus on adding EVs that are 100% gasoline free. The brand has hit a new milestone in that journey now, as production of the e-NV200, Nissan’s all-electric van and second all-electric vehicle overall, has begun at Nissan’s Barcelona Plant. The brand poured 100 million euros into the plant to fuel production of the e-NV200, which will first hit about 20 markets before widening distribution in the future.

2014 Nissan e-NV200“This is a great landmark day for Nissan, starting production of our second electric vehicle,” Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer of Nissan, said at a celebratory ceremony on site in Barcelona. “This is at a time when EVs are now recognized as mainstream technology. Many competitors are only just starting to launch their first EV—where Nissan has clear first mover advantage [with the Nissan LEAF].”

The e-NV200 shares much of its drivetrain technology with the Nissan LEAF, which is already the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. We’ll have to wait a while to see the e-NV200 make it over to Lewis Nissan, but it will soon go on sale both as a passenger vehicle and commercial van in European markets and Japan.

Nissan Developing “Self Cleaning” Car

It’s Murphy’s Law: if you wash your car, it will rain. Forget the rain, Nissan might be on the verge of introducing a paint that will essentially keep your car clean – all the time. The custom super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint would repel mud, rain, dirt, and oil – all the culprits that keep our cars from staying spot-free.

The paint is called Ultra-Ever Dry, developed by UltraTech International. “By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface,” the carmaker said in a statement.

2014 Nissan Versa NoteThe paint will be tested on the Nissan Versa Note in its England technical facility to determine if the material is durable enough for long-term use on vehicles, and if it will hold up in different weather conditions around the world.

Just the idea of fewer car washes (if any at all), is enough to perk our ears. We’ll be staying tuned for updates as testing begins this summer.