ProPilot is Nissan's revolutionary autonomous drive technology designed for highway use in single-lane traffic. Nissan have announced that in 2018 the Nissan Qashqai will become their first crossover vehicle in Europe to be equipped with the trail blazing ProPilot Autonomous Driving Technology, at a cost of £1500 as an option. This follows the hugely successful launch last year of the Nissan Serena, which was the first model to be equipped with ProPilot in Japan. In simple terms ProPilot allows the vehicle to drive autonomously and safely in a single lane and in heavy traffic conditions.
Nissan ProPilot Technology
Essentially Nissan's ProPilot Technology can control acceleration & braking and assist with steering. As the system still requires the driver to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times it doesn’t allow the driver to take a nap!
ProPilot Safety Features
If the car in front slows or stops and the system decides that the driver does not have complete control then within five to ten seconds there is an audible warning and an alert flashes on the instrument panel which steadily becomes progressively more persistent.
After ten seconds the system will automatically pulse the brakes to get your attention and after 25 to 30 seconds if there is no sign of the driver responding ProPilot will start to apply the brakes. When the vehicle speed drops below 40 mph, the hazard lights are turned on, and if there is no further intervention from the driver the car will then draw to a standstill.
ProPilot dynamically tries to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane you are in. If the car deviates over to one side of the lane without a turn signal the system will encourage you back to the centre of the lane, and as with other lane control systems it’s relatively easy to override, as it is designed to assist not to take over from the driver.
The forward facing radar also monitors the vehicle ahead to maintain a consistent gap, which is adjusted to your speed.
What are the benefits of ProPilot
Fundamentally you will use ProPilot exactly as you would normally use cruise control, and the system is activated by a button on the steering wheel and replaces cruise control, as you no longer need both. Furthermore, the system can be used on motorways, rural or urban centres.
What does the future hold for Autonomous Driving Technology
Nissan have announced that updated versions of ProPilot are planned that will bring progressively more advanced autonomous technology features to future Nissan models over the next four years. The second and third generation of ProPilot called ‘Highway Pilot’ and ‘Intercity Pilot’ are due to be released in 2018 and 2020. Highway Pilot will allow vehicles to automatically switch lanes and overtake on motorways, while vehicles equipped with Intercity Pilot will be able to drive autonomously in certain urban settings.