Nissan introduces its first ever semi-autonomous feature image

Nissan has fitted its newly announced Serena minivan with a Tesla similar autonomous tech, capable of driving itself on highways.

The new semi-autonomous technology, available in the new Serena model on sale in Japan next month, is in fact the first one of its kind brought into a production model by a Japanese automaker. Called ProPilot, the driver-assist feature was designed for highway use in single-lane traffic situation. The accelerator, brakes and steering are controlled based on information gathered through a mono camera supplied by ZF TRW Automotive that comes with advanced-image processing software which is capable of distinguishing in three-dimensional depth surrounding cars and lane markers. Once activated, the system developed with Mobiley is able to control the distance from the car in front at speeds between 30 km/h and 100 km/h, while it also keeps the vehicle in the middle of the highway lane by reading markers and self-steering, also bringing it to a full stop if necessary.

Nissan said it would introduce the ProPilot to other models as well, including the Qashqai in Europe in 2017. There are also plans for the technology to be brought into the US and China. The company expects a multi-lane autonomous driving technology on highways to come in 2018, while the self-driving feature for urban roads and in intersections is planned for launch in 2020.

There are also other Japanese makers that already announced similar features to be implemented in their cars by the end of the decade, such as Toyota and Honda. The Renault-Nissan Alliance has said it plans to launch more than 10 models with autonomous-drive capabilities in the next four years.