Nissan plans staged introduction of autonomy

| Transport

ProPilot will be the first stage of autonomous drive technology to be introduced in 2017 by Nissan on the new Qashqai.

New legislation for insuring self-driving cars in the UK will have a significant role in the adoption and integration of the breakthrough technology that can help reduce traffic congestion and vehicle incidents on the country’s roads, according to Nissan in response to the Queen’s speech at the state opening of Parliament yesterday.

In 2017, the company’s new Qashqai will be the first Nissan in Europe and the first UK-manufactured car to be equipped with autonomous technology in 2017 with ProPilot. The introduction marks an important step in Nissan’s commitment to make autonomous drive technologies available to the mass market.

Planned stages in autonomy

Nissan has a multi-year plan to introduce full autonomy to its vehicles with ProPilot being the first stage and due to be released next year. ProPilot enables the car to drive autonomously and safely in a single lane in heavy traffic conditions on motorways.

Further along Nissan’s autonomy development plan, “Multiple-Lane Control” is scheduled to be introduced in 2018 and will include autonomous negotiation of hazards and lane changes while driving.

In 2020, the company will introduce “intersection autonomy” which will allow cars to navigate busy city junctions and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.

10 autonomous vehicles by 2020

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology by 2020 in the USA, Europe, Japan and China. The technology will be installed on mainstream, mass-market cars at affordable prices with a focus on accessibility to all customers.

The company has also opened a Joint Research Centre for Intelligent Mobility in the Department of Automotive Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The collaboration will work on the research and development of electric vehicle and autonomous drive technologies for the Chinese market.

In respose to the Queen’s speech and commenting on the role that the UK can play in the global development of driverless vehicles, Nissan Europe’s Chairman, Paul Willcox said, “The UK economy can also benefit, by playing a pivotal role in a global industry estimated to be worth £900 billion by 2025.”

“Autonomously-equipped vehicles will improve the safety and well-being of drivers, with fewer collisions and reduced traffic congestion,” he added.

On the role of Nissan in the development of driverless technology, Paul Willcox continued, “Nissan takes innovative, premium technologies and makes them accessible and affordable to the general public. We’re excited to be debuting the first phase of our autonomous driving technology, ProPilot, on the Nissan Qashqai in 2017.”

Jonathan Newell
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