Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that the new Serena, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late August, will come equipped with the company’s ProPILOT autonomous drive technology.
ProPILOT is an autonomous drive technology designed for highway use in single-lane traffic. Nissan said 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 car’s ProPILOT system understands road and traffic situations and executes precise steering enabling the vehicle to perform naturally.
The accelerator, brakes and steering are controlled based on information obtained through a mono camera equipped with advanced-image processing software. The ProPILOT camera can quickly recognize in three-dimensional depth both preceding vehicles and lane markers. 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, according to the automaker.
It the 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, according to the automaker.
Nissan said it is carrying out intensive studies of driving conditions in various regions so that ProPILOT will be well suited to the conditions in the markets in which it will be launched. The ProPILOT system equipped on the Serena in Japan was developed in pursuit of an easy-to-use technology for highway driving conditions in Japan.
Nissan said it is proactively working on vehicle intelligence and vehicle electrification to make its corporate visions of “Zero Emissions” and “Zero Fatalities” a reality. Under “Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” ProPILOT promotes safety and instills confidence in drivers, and it is part of “Nissan Intelligent Driving.”
ProPILOT will be introduced into other vehicles, including the Qashqai in Europe in 2017. There are also plans for the technology to be introduced in the U.S. and China markets. A multi-lane autonomous driving technology will enable automatic lane changes on highways and is planned for introduction in 2018 while autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections is planned for launch in 2020, according to the automaker.