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March 23, 2017

Nissan confirms autonomous drive for next Qashqai

Nissan has confirmed that phase one of its ProPILOT autonomous drive technology will be made available in the new Nissan Qashqai launching in FY17 and the second-generation model of the Nissan LEAF.

Nissan has confirmed that phase one of its ProPILOT autonomous drive technology will be made available in the new Nissan Qashqai launching in FY17 and the second-generation model of the Nissan LEAF.

This ‘level 4’* technology enables single lane autonomous driving on motorways and is already available on the Nissan Serena, which was launched in Japan last year.

Nissan says it is the first Japanese automaker to introduce a combination of steering, accelerator and braking that can be operated in full automatic mode, easing driver workload in heavy highway traffic and long commutes.

Employing advanced image-processing technology, the ProPILOT system ‘understands road and traffic situations and executes precise steering enabling the vehicle to perform naturally’. A switch on the steering wheel allows the driver to activate and deactivate the system. ProPILOT’s interface includes a personal display showing the operating status. 

Once activated, ProPILOT automatically controls the distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle, using a speed preset by the driver (between approximately 30 km/h and 100 km/h). The system also keeps the car in the middle of the highway lane by reading lane markers and controlling steering, even through curves.

If a car in front stops, the ProPILOT system automatically applies the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop. After coming to a full stop, the vehicle will remain in place even if the driver’s foot is off the brake pedal. When ready to resume driving, ProPILOT is activated when the driver touches the switch again or lightly presses the accelerator.

In December ProPILOT autonomous drive in the new Nissan Serena won 2016-2017 Japan Car of the Year Innovation Award.

In the coming years up until 2020, Nissan says its autonomous drive technology will offer increasing levels of autonomy, with the system eventually able to navigate city intersections. 

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*just-auto’s research unit, QUBE, defines broad categories for levels of driving automation as follows:

Level 0: No automation – e.g. Park distance control.

Level 1: Driver Assistance – e.g. Lane departure warning (LDW); Blind-spot monitoring.

Level 2: Partial automation – e.g. Adaptive cruise control (ACC); Automatic emergency braking (AEB); Semi-parking assist.

Level 3: Conditional automation – e.g. Highway driving assist.

Level 4: High automation – e.g. Highway driving; Traffic jam assist.

Level 5: Full automation – e.g. Urban driving; Valet parking (driverless parking).

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