There’s an increasing number of car manufacturers embracing autonomous technology, with Nissan being the latest one to do so. It’s still not 100 percent autonomous, unlike those being developed at Google and Apple. Instead, the ProPilot which debuts with the all-new Nissan Serena will provide a helping hand in heavy traffic and long commutes.
Activating and disabling the ProPilot is as simple as a flick of a switch on the steering wheel. As for now, the system is designed primarily for highway use in single-lane traffic, and it controls the vehicle’s steering, accelerator, and braking. This requires the assistance of a camera which uses image processing software to quickly identify vehicles and lane markers in three-dimensional depth.
While on the highway, ProPilot controls the distance of the car ahead via speed determined by the driver. Even if you’re in the middle lane, the system works by reading lane markers. When coming to a stop, ProPilot automatically applies braking force. Once the car is ready to move, the ProPilot system can be reactivated via the same switch on the steering wheel after the accelerator is depressed.
The next Nissan expected to receive this technology will be the Qashqai crossover in Europe by next year, with more Nissan cars planned to be equipped with this tech in the following years. The company has also announced that the ProPilot technology will incorporate urban driving as well as through intersections by 2020.