Print 105 comment(s) - last by sprockkets.. on Nov 21 at 2:03 AM

Drivers will be able to change their vehicle color at the flip of a switch

Nissan is truly doing wonderful things in the automotive arena. The company recently unveiled its highly-anticipated 2009 GT-R. The vehicle pumps out an impressive 473 HP and an equally impressive 434 lb-ft of twist from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine.

Now that development is winding down for what is likely Nissan's most advanced road car ever, the Japanese-based company is turning its attention to more "mundane" matters when it comes to choosing a vehicle: color.

Choosing a color when purchasing a new vehicle can be a gut-wrenching endeavor. Many cars look good in black, but the color is a pain to keep clean. Silver often best shows off the curves of a vehicle, but everyone chooses silver these days. Pick a color like beige, and you'll blend in with the rest of the anonymous Toyota Camrys darting in and out of traffic with the right blinker still on.

Nissan hopes to give car buyers the ability to choose whatever color they like for their vehicle -- at any time. Nissan has developed what it calls a "paramagnetic" paint coating -- a unique polymer layer which features iron oxide particles is applied to the vehicle body. When an electric current is applied to the polymer layer, the crystals in the polymer are then interpreted by the human eye as different colors.

Depending on the level of current and the spacing of the crystals, a wide gamut of colors can be selected by the driver. However, since a steady current is needed to maintain the color effect, the paramagnetic paint doesn't work when the vehicle is turned off -- instead, the vehicle would revert back to a default white color.

If you may recall, Ford offered a similar paint option on its mid-90s Mustang GT and Cobra (Mystic) and 2004 Mustang Cobras (Mystychrome). In both cases, the vehicle appeared to be either green or purple depending on the viewing angle.

Nissan is hard at work on the paramagnetic paint and hopes to have it on production vehicles by 2010.

Paramagnetic paint isn't the first time that Nissan had ventured into ways to improve paint technology. The company also developed a self-healing "Scratch Guard Coat" to apply vehicle paint. Thanks to the advanced coating, vehicle are nearly impervious to superficial scratches caused by carwash brushes, fingernails or other minor surface scratches.

Any scratches that are made on the vehicle are "healed" within one day to a week depending on the depth of the scratch.

Nissan's Scratch Guard Coat is currently available on the 2008 Infiniti EX35 luxury crossover utility vehicle.

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An interesting side effect...
By Symmetriad on 11/9/2007 11:54:24 AM , Rating: 5
This definitely sounds cool, but I have to wonder whether this'll be legal everywhere: What happens in the case that the police need to find somebody driving a certain car due to a hit-and-run or something similar, and the perpetrator can just change the color of his car? Putting a call out for "a blue Camry" might no longer be useful. This invention might be deep-sixed for cars before it even enters the market.

Plus, it'll make things too easy if you can automatically reduce your wanted level. :)

RE: An interesting side effect...
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 11/9/2007 12:04:02 PM , Rating: 5
There are lots of technologies and items out there that can be used for illicit purposes (cell phones, encryption, wigs, makeup, clothes, 2nd car, etc.). Doesn't mean the general, law-abiding public shouldn't be allowed access to it just because it could be used for devious purposes.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By AraH on 11/9/2007 12:17:57 PM , Rating: 5
see: guns

RE: An interesting side effect...
By Hoeser on 11/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: An interesting side effect...
By Symmetriad on 11/9/2007 4:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying that they should be restricted. The thing is, there seem to be different tiers of risk/non-risk associated with different categories of products. Technically, you can use almost anything to commit a crime of some sort, but most things are intended for and most commonly utilized for other purposes. Then, there are certain things which have a narrower scope of utility and a higher risk for misuse; for instance, guns arguably have a lower number of tasks they can accomplish and a far higher risk for misuse, therefore many states and countries restrict them (note that I am not saying "should" or "should not" - I don't want to start a gun debate).

This invention, as cool as it is, arguably has a low number of potential uses - looking cool, hiding dirt, and evading the police - and a high potential for misuse. Note that I'm not advocating the restriction of this invention - I'm just saying that law authorities will probably see a high potential for misuse and seriously consider restrictions in order to minimize that risk.

By ThisSpaceForRent on 11/9/2007 4:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
We should also ban sharp sticks. I got poked with one once, and it left a scratch and a bruise. One of these days man will create a stick so big, and pointy, he'll skewer the earth!

We should also ban crowbars. They're too useful.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By Runiteshark on 11/9/2007 5:45:30 PM , Rating: 4
I'm going to kill you with my tea cup.

By murphyslabrat on 11/13/2007 6:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, only Uma Thurman and Vin Diesel are allowed to do that.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By rdeegvainl on 11/10/2007 7:17:24 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the whole point is that, since it has legitimate legal use, it will be allowed. The high potential of misuse of a pc is many times greater, but since it has a legit use, we get to keep our pc's.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 11/10/2007 2:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
If I was a mastermind criminal and really wanted to have a getaway planned, I wouldn't use paint changing as the key part of my escape. I'd have a 2nd car ready, and obfuscate the plate check and the model check, not just the paint color check. If I'm just a punk and commit a crime (like a gang bang or something like that), I'd bet the driver will give himself away, even if the paint color changed because the cops would probably be aware of that potential on a given model and the guy would just look nervous or suspicious. But the criminals wouldn't be able to change the model or the vehicle or the plates very quickly.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 5:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
YOu're putting a bit too much thought into this. IF you were seen committing a crime in a (for example) blue Nissan and your car had a switch you could flick to change colors once out of sight, I'll bet you'd flick it unless there were sufficient precedence that doing so was considered an evasion tactic, even if you did have another car waiting somewhere.

By ThisSpaceForRent on 11/14/2007 8:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
and obfuscate the plate check

How dare you use large words, and make me feel small minded. Otherwise good post. =-)

RE: An interesting side effect...
By troublesome08 on 11/9/2007 12:31:35 PM , Rating: 3
that's the first thing i thought of! Coppers aren't going to like this at all..neither will insurance companies, since red's the most expensive, just say your car is white! and then when you want to turn some heads, flip it over to

RE: An interesting side effect...
By HighWing on 11/9/2007 4:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
.neither will insurance companies, since red's the most expensive,

If I'm not mistaken, I don't think the insurance companies do that in all states.

But regardless I'm sure this kind of paint would replace red for price. Not just because of the ability to be any color, but think of the cost involved in "re-painting" the vehicle after any kind of accident. I'm sure this kind of paint won't be cheap by far.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By glitchc on 11/9/2007 8:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
What's to stop the cops from utilizing the same technology? In fact, I can see an excellent use for this paint in unmarked cars, which can now really appear unmarked unless required. The poor sap will think he lost the cops, and then WHAM! He gets surrounded by innocent looking Maximas ;)

Furthermore, I suspect such paint will cost an arm and a leg for quite some time, this ensuring its use in only two major groups: rich individuals and government agencies. I see the latter adopting them first, since they have the resources. The former, due to their wealth, can circumvent the law anyhow. Don't need color changing paint when you can just get your ticket dropped.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By rdeegvainl on 11/10/2007 7:22:48 AM , Rating: 1
Actually that is an awesome idea, normal sedan driving behind you, then BAM, lights and the car now has official badges and pulls over all the speeders.
I think that is a great idea, and if more people stopped speeding, everyone would be safer. cars would be more likely to be going optimum speed for gas mileage, pollution goes down, global warming stops, NOBEL prizes are handed out, and snowboarders around the world rejoice.
Oh and people will think twice about blowing past my plain white Taurus on the highway when I AM going the speed limit.

RE: An interesting side effect...
By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 5:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
Unmarked police cars with the concealed or LED lighting systems are already inconspicuous enough that by the time you were close enough to ID one, it's too late unless you happened to be behind one and saw the license plate at a distance.

By murphyslabrat on 11/13/2007 6:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
Or, when you join two or three cars going 70 MPH in a 60-zone, only to have the rear-most car sprout a siren....

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