Nissan Launches Auto Drive Feature

Reuters auto correspondent Maki Shiraki removes her hands from the steering wheel as she test drives Nissan's new Serena minivan, which is equipped with Propilot semi-automated driving functions, at the company's test drive facility in Yokosuka, Japan July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Like any other company introducing the self-driving car, Nissan heads in another direction stating that they don’t intend to replace drivers but assist them just after the incidence of a fatal accident by another well known company Tesla who are passionate about making self-driving cars.

Nissan is known to be Japan’s second-ranked carmaker by vehicle sales and in an interview released a statement that the feature ProPilot is to assist the driver and would be on sale in Japan next month with the Serena minivan model as the first car to try the feature on.

It would involve driving the vehicle on single-lane motorways and navigate congestion.

With all the saga of self-driving cars and the ex-Navy officer dyeing in a self-driving car watching Harry Porter and with the U.S carrying an investigation on the recent accident on July 1st, Nissan declined to comment directly on that incident, Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto said it was important drivers did not overestimate the purpose and capabilities of automated driving functions.

He also said “These functions are meant to support drivers, and are not meant as self-driving capabilities” which let drivers take their eyes off the road, he said. “These are two very different things.”

How Does It Work

The ProPilot gets activated with a push the button on the steering without having the driver controlling the steering, the brake or even accelerating. The car keeps a fixed distance still requiring your hands on the wheels and if your hands are off there’s an alarm that alerts you after four seconds with a flash and 10 seconds later the alarm starts to beep.

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“Naturally, there are limitations to the system, and our job is to communicate what those limitations are,” he told reporters.

With ProPilot, Nissan joins many automakers including Tesla, BMW and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in marketing adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assistance.

Nissan will sell its ProPilot-equipped Serena for under 3 million yen ($28,758), making it one of few mid-priced vehicles with autopilot features more common among luxury cars.

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