Nissan has come out with its own autonomous driving system dubbed ProPILOT. The first production vehicle to utilize Nissan’s new autonomous driving system will come out in August. ProPILOT will arrive on Nissan’s Serena first.
Nissan is cautiously promoting ProPILOT due to recent incidents faced by Tesla for its autopilot driving system. Nissan explicitly states that ProPILOT is single-lane technology and that it utilizes steering controls, acceleration, and braking. It is designed to be used in heavy traffic or extended commute.
Similar to other vehicles that utilize autopilot controls, ProPILOT automatically regulates the distance between your car and the leading car from speeds of 18 mph to 60 mph. The car is kept in lane by using a monocular 360-degree camera system and Mobileye’s on-board processing system (the same processing system used by Tesla’s autopilot and also used by drive-assist features on the BMW, Volvo, etc.) to watch for vehicles in front.
ProPILOT programs your car to stop when the car in front of you stops. Nissan also assures us that the brakes are still employed even when the driver’s foot is not on the brake pedal. In order to continue driving, the driver has to touch the switch for the self-driving function or lightly hit the gas.
To avoid the issues that Tesla is facing, Nissan is implementing several safety measures for their new ProPILOT system. Nissan’s ProPILOT system sends warnings to the driver if the driver’s hands leave the steering wheel and will shut down if these warnings are not heeded, giving the driver full manual control of the vehicle.
Nissan is planning to add more features to ProPILOT in the future. Lane-switching technology will be introduced in 2018 and full intersection technology will be introduced in 2020.
Nissan’s ProPILOT isn’t very different from other vehicles with autopilot functions, but it is a step forward for Nissan. In addition, Nissan plans to introduce its ProPILOT to European roads in 2017. China and the U.S. will have to wait for ProPILOT.