In late August this year, the Nissan Serena will become the first Japanese car to come with autonomous, self-driving technology. The company says that while this is initially only going to be available on Japanese-market cars, it will be launched on the Nissan Qashqai in 2017.
Much like the already-available adaptive cruise control found in many other cars, the ProPILOT system (activated by a switch in the car) keeps a set distance from the car in front at speeds of 30-100kph (19-62mph). It also keeps the car in the middle of your chosen lane and can navigate curves.
- Single camera up front
- Image processing technology (that enables it to understand road signs)
- Combined steering, acceleration and braking systems (to make a car fully autonomous)
As well as making life easier for drivers, the ProPILOT technology is also about improving safety, with Nissan intent that its cars will eventually cause zero fatalities. For Europe and the UK, this technology will appear on the Qashqai in 2017, with China and the US likely to follow shortly afterwards. There are already plans for the release of an improved system that’ll allow the car to change lanes by itself, too.
Nissan says it will offer lane-change capabilities, much as Tesla has now, in 2018. That requires blind spot.
For the US market, the adaptive cruise control portion would need to work at higher speeds for expressway commuters, where speeds at rush hour could go down to zero, or up to 75 mph when traffic clears for a mile or two.