We’re still a long way from fully autonomous cars but most major car manufacturers have already started offering semi-autonomous driving features with their cars. Nissan is one of those manufacturers. Its suite of semi-autonomous driving features is called ProPilot Assist and it’s already available elsewhere. The company has now confirmed that it’s preparing ProPilot Assistant for launch in the United States.
Nissan confirmed that the U.S.-optimized version of ProPilot Assist is being developed as it gears up to launch the all-new Nissan Leaf electric car by the end of this year.
ProPilot Assist is far from being a fully autonomous driving solution. Nissan points out that the existing version of ProPilot Assist is only meant to make the driver’s life easier during single-lane highway driving.
It’s going to rely on the car’s radar, camera, and sensors to help drivers stay in their lane, maintain speed, and brake if it senses that the driver up ahead has slowed down.
It’s not going to change lanes, though, as is possible with Tesla’s Autopilot system. It’s won’t be available on city streets and also won’t be able to brake in an emergency.
Drivers must have their hands on the wheel at all times for the system to work. The ProPilot Assist feature is going to be as easy to enable as cruise control and it will resume on its own when the driver changes lanes manually.
ProPilot Assist will be improved considerably in the following years as it’s due to support multi-lane highways within 2 years and city roads within 4. Nissan will also push for fully autonomous driving but that’s obviously going to take much longer.