Former NASA Scientist Maarten Sierhuis Helps Develop Nissan Autonomous Vehicles

For years, former NASA scientist Maarten Sierhuis worked on technology that would help the human race reach out to the stars. However, for his next project, Sierhuis is focusing on technology that is a little more grounded. According to a press release from Nissan, Former NASA scientist Maarten Sierhuis will help develop Nissan autonomous vehicles.

During his time at NASA, Sierhuis worked to develop a series of robotics-based intelligence systems to help aid the organization with their pursuit of space exploration.

Maarten Sierhuis will now take the knowledge and expertise that he used at NASA to help Nissan with a goal that they are currently trying to pursue: autonomous vehicle technology. Autonomous driving systems allow for vehicle to drive themselves without the direct aid of the driver. Even when the driver is in control of the vehicle, autonomous driving would serve as a monitoring system to help optimize vehicle safety.

Maarten Sierhuis is currently working on a project at the Nissan Research Center that uses autonomous vehicle technology to help navigate during travel on the highway.

“Bringing this new technology to society, it will change so many things,” says Sierhuis. “And call me crazy, but for me part of my drive of wanting to be thinking about these kinds of problems is that I want it to be done right.”

For Maarten Sierhuis, space was not the final frontier. Rather, his exciting journey continues with Nissan and their autonomous vehicle project!

Maarten Sierhuis

4 Varieties of Lemonade

This summer has already been pretty hot and humid, and it’s only going to get hotter! With the dog days of summer headed our way in August, we could really use a nice, refreshing drink. No drink is better during the summer than lemonade! Try mixing up your summer drink flavors with these 4 varieties of lemonade.

Varieties of Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

Perhaps the most famous spin on lemonade is the Strawberry lemonade. Often referred to as pink lemonade, this variety is often more popular than even the classic lemonade.

Raspberry Lemonade

For another type of berry added to your summer drink, try and sample raspberry lemonade. However, unlike the sweet strawberry lemonade, this flavor pairs the sour lemon flavor with the tart flavor of raspberries.

Peach Lemonade

For a splash of the South added in your glass of lemonade, try a Peach Lemonade. It’s a sweet way to try and beat the heat outside.

Lemonade Ice Tea

Ice tea may be the only other drink that is as iconic during the summer as lemonade is. So it only makes sense to combine the two drinks for a refreshing beverage.

When it comes to lemonade, it’s OK to drink and drive, just don’t spill!

Nissan’s “No Charge to Charge” Program

no charge to charge

Two years ago, Nissan launched a “No Charge to Charge” program that changed the way we drive electric cars. And now, their program is expanding!

Nissan started their “No Charge to Charge” program in just 10 markets in July 2014. This program gave great benefits to Nissan LEAF owners. It set up complimentary public charging stations and gave LEAF owners free use of these stations for two years from their purchase date.

After the popularity and success of the program, Nissan has decided to expand on the program. Recently added are 28 new charging stations in the top markets for Nissan LEAF. And Nissan is all about rewarded LEAF drivers and giving them additional confidence.

“We know that public charging is a key element in providing additional range confidence for electric vehicle drivers, and free public charging is a great way to make Nissan LEAF an unrivaled value for the average American driver,” said Brian Maragno, director of Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing.

Near Cronic Nissan, you can find a charging station in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. You can download a map here so you can find charging stations along your road trips, too!

Best Hiking Trails near Griffin, Georgia

It’s the summer, and you want to experience the great outdoors. Thankfully, Georgia is full of natural beauty, and there are plenty of awesome hiking trails near Griffin for you to check out.

Line Creek Nature Area

Line Creek is hiding inconspicuously behind a shopping area, but the crowds don’t transfer to the park! Here you’ll find serene trails nestled among a creek and rock clusters.

Dauset Trails

This is a great place for adults and kids. You’ll not only be able to hike, but you can go on a nature walk where you can see rescued animals in their habitats. And after you see all of the animals, you can hit up the hiking or biking trails.

Whitewater Creek Trail

These trails are nestled within the mountains and the gorgeous Chattahoochee River. What’s nice is that these trials provide lots of shade so your hiking will be enjoyable even in hot temperatures.

Stone Mountain Park

Get to the top of this mountain for a great workout. There’s also a pavilion halfway up so that you’ll be able rest if you need to. There’s also a cable car that’ll take you to the top!

Hiking trails near Griffin

Affordable Vacation Destinations

Summer is finally here and if you haven’t planned a vacation getaway, it’s never too late to start. While many assume any vacation is costly, there are plenty of affordable vacations anyone can take. Here are some of the best affordable vacation destinations in the United States from us here at Cronic Nissan!

  • Nashville, Tennessee – Home to some of the lowest hotel prices in the South, Nashville is the perfect getaway for down-to-earth adventurers. While some of the attractions are predictably country, others, like Hillsboro Village, are incredibly modern. Complete with the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville is incredibly accessible to those on a budget.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana – For those with more room in their budget, New Orleans is the perfect spot for a cultural experience. Boasting rock ‘n’ roll, Jazz, blues, and other types of music in a city with a European-style design, there’s something for everyone. As long as you avoid Mardi Gras, New Orleans is surprisingly affordable!
  • Yellowstone National Park – Spread across three states, Yellowstone National Park was founded over a century ago. Home to hot springs, meadows, geysers, forests, peaks, lakes, and more, this a place everyone should visit at least once in their life.

Affordable Vacation Destinations

2017 Nissan Maxima Gets Standard Apple CarPlay

In-car smartphone connectivity is the way of the future as automakers continue to prove with innovative technology to make driving safer and phone use more hands-free. Nissan is no different and, with the one-year-old redesigned Maxima to work with, there’s a lot to expect. The 2017 Nissan Maxima is on sale now and with five available trims and quite a few new standard features.

Starting at $32,560, the Nissan Maxima S comes with Apple CarPlay as a standard feature. Working with NissanConnect and the Maxima’s eight-inch touchscreen, that increases a driver’s control while on the road without taking their eyes off the wheel.

As you’d expect, all Maxima trims get the technology as a standard feature. At the top of the line is the Maxima Platinum with a starting price just under $40,000. All models come stocked with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque.

Now stocked with Apple CarPlay, the Nissan Maxima, the brand’s flagship sedan, may have gained the upper hand on competitors. Combined with the powerful yet efficient engine, this full-size, four-door sports car could have the edge it needs take down its rivals.

We here at Cronic Nissan are happy to see the Maxima staying at the forefront of connectivity!

All MSRP prices accurate at time of publication.

2017 Nissan Maxima

Ways to Keep Your Car Running Forever

We at Cronic Nissan know that buying a car should be a long-term investment. If you treat a vehicle well, it can last you for many years and many miles. The following tips are basic ideas that can be applied to any vehicle to extend the life of the car.

  • Follow your vehicle’s service schedule. This includes things like getting the oil changed, checking the brakes, changing the air filter, etc. The best schedule to follow is the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, which should be found in the owner’s manual.
  • Check tire pressure and fluids regularly. Once every other week, inspect your car thoroughly. Check the level and color of the engine oil in between changes. Visually look over the belts and hoses for wear and tear. Monitor your antifreeze, coolant, and other fluids. Ensure proper tire pressure and tread depth. These inspections will help you find potential problems immediately before they damage the car.
  • Start up gently and drive smoothly. When starting your car, do not let it idle for long amounts of time nor floor the gas to warm it up. It is best to let your car slowly warm up while you drive. Go easy on the brakes and avoid full-throttle acceleration as much as possible. When switching gears, such as drive to reverse, make sure your car is completely stopped to avoid damaging the transmission. Driving calmly will reduce wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • Be aware of your car’s ‘normal’ behavior. Know how your car normally drives and be alert to noticing if something does not seem right. Listen for odd noises and observe how your car shifts, turns, and brakes.

There are many more ways to keep your car running forever, but the number one thing you can do is drive your car as though you love it. If you love your car, you will want to take good care of it. If you want to find a car you can love long-term, stop by Cronic Nissan and we will help you find the perfect vehicle.

ways to keep your car running

Spring Car Care Tips

The harsh winter weather has finally gone away – until next year, anyway. Winter has left spring in its midst and with warmer comes a whole new to-do list. While you’re likely bustling around with spring cleaning, it’s important to give your car the attention it needs as well. Here are a few important spring car care tips.

  1. Interior Cleaning – With how cold winter was, it’s likely a good amount of trash has built up in your car. Now that the weather is warmer, pull your car out of the garage and give your interior a good cleaning. Remove all the trash, clean up the dust, and don’t forget to clean the windows.
  2. Wash and Wax – Dirt, grime, and, worst of all, road salt can build up on your car over winter and with freezing temperatures, a good scrub was out of the question. Now is the time to take a few minutes and clean up all the leftover residue. If left untreated, salt, dirt, and grime can do a number on your paint and cause rust. Don’t let your vehicle’s trade-in value take a hit.
  3. Under the Hood – Take some time to do a full inspection as well. Look at all the belts, hoses, and engine as a whole. If you aren’t sure what to look for, make a call to your local dealership’s service department.

Spring Car Care Tips

Nissan Showcases 2017 Titan Performance at New York Auto Show

The Nissan Titan is synonymous with rugged capabilities, and the new 2017 Titan Crew Cab is no exception. This model recently premiered at the New York International Auto Show, making this the first public showing of the half-ton pickup. With a powerful engine and a range of capabilities, drivers are bound to be impressed.

The 2017 Titan performance has been increased greatly, with a new 390 horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance V8 that comes standard, according to Nissan. This may be paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission, with available 4×4 and Adaptive Shift Control. An available Cummins 5.0-liter V8 Turbo Diesel also recently premiered.

“The 2017 TITAN half-ton has the same aggressive style of the TITAN XD, but is about a foot shorter in wheelbase,” said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc., revealing the new truck during a press conference at the auto show. “They share the same cabs, but while it offers similar ruggedness and durability, the TITAN half-ton’s chassis is completely different than XD.”

The Titan also comes with a redesigned exterior that is a little over 228 inches, nearly a foot shorter than the larger Titan XD. We can’t wait to see these new pickups hit the streets sometime in the near future.

Sharing the Road with Bikes: Staying Safe around Bicyclists

Spring is in the air and bikes are on the road. Due to warmer weather, bikes are set to hit the streets in record numbers, making it especially important to pay attention on the road. There are several advantages to riding a bike, from lowering emissions, saving gas, and getting in shape. Nonetheless, sharing the road with bikes can create added hazards.

sharing the road with bikes

According to The Washington Post, one of the most important things to remember is how vulnerable bikes are. The average bike weighs 20 pounds—cars, on the other hand, weigh an average of 4,000 pounds. One tap of your car could be fatal for a bicyclists. Always give added room when following or driving by bikes.

Have patience. In most states, bikes must ride on the road if the rider is over 10 years old. While some places provide bike lanes, you must always treat bikes like cars. They also must obey traffic laws. Although it might be difficult, imagine they are just another car on the road.

Look twice when turning right. Our brains often fail to register bikes when we are driving because they are not as large as cars. Look a second time when turning. Also, when turning from the road (as opposed to a stop sign or light), look out for riders that may continue straight.

Finally, consider biking yourself! Biking reduces stress, helps eliminate pollution, and can save you big on gas. Just remember to follow all traffic rules, and always wear protective gear.