Nissan’s autonomous minivan will go on sale in Japan in August
Nissan’s big push to offer 10 autonomous models in dealerships by 2020 has officially begun.
Nissan announced that it will sell its first car with autonomous tech onboard, the Serena minivan, to Japanese customers starting in August.
The Serena debuts the brand’s autonomous driving system called ProPILOT. It can drive autonomously in a single lane on the freeway, controlling throttle, brake and steering. As Nissan puts it, this eases “driver workload in heavy highway traffic and long commutes.”
This compares to semi-autonomous driving systems currently offered in the U.S., which fall into the Level 2 range of autonomy like Mercedes’ Drive Pilot and Tesla Autopilot. That means, unlike with the Tesla Autopilot system, drivers of the Nissan Serena can safely remove their hands from the steering wheel without endangering safety.
By comparison to the beta-tested Autopilot, which can be operated virtually willy nilly, ProPILOT’s operation is limited to a single lane on a freeway (identified by GPS) and to speeds between 30 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour) and 100 kph (62 mph).
In 2018, Nissan will unveil an even more robust version of ProPILOT that can automatically change lanes on freeways. Nissan says it will implement a system that can operate fully autonomously in urban environments by 2020.
We changed “self-driving” to “autonomous” to better clarify the ProPILOT system. Furthermore, we also removed a mention that the system would allow drivers to fully disengage from driving.