Nissan’s new Serena, scheduled to go on sale in Japan from August, will come equipped with the company’s ProPilot autonomous drive technology, offering convenience and peace of mind during highway mobility. The tech is designed for highway use in single-lane traffic. Nissan is the first Japanese automaker to introduce a combination of steering, accelerator and braking that can be operated in full automatic mode, easing driver workload in heavy highway traffic and long commutes.
Employing advanced image-processing technology, the Serena’s ProPilot system understands road and traffic situations and executes precise steering enabling the vehicle to perform naturally. The technology is said to be extremely user-friendly, with a switch on the steering wheel that allows the driver to easily activate/deactivate the system. ProPilot’s easy-to-understand and fit-to-drive interface includes a personal display showing the operating status.
The accelerator, brakes and steering are controlled based on information obtained through a mono camera equipped with advanced-image processing software. The ProPilot camera can quickly recognise in three-dimensional depth both preceding vehicles and lane markers.
Once activated, ProPilot automatically controls the distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle, using a speed preset by the driver (between approximately 30km/h and 100km/h). The system also keeps the car in the middle of the highway lane by reading lane markers and controlling steering, even through curves.
If a car in front stops, the ProPilot system automatically applies the brakes to bring the Serena to a full stop. After coming to a full stop, the vehicle will remain in place even if the driver’s foot is off the brake pedal. When ready to resume driving, ProPilot is activated when the driver touches the switch again or lightly presses the accelerator.
Nissan is carrying out intensive studies of driving conditions in various regions, so that ProPilot will be well suited to the conditions in the markets in which it will be launched. The ProPilot system in the Serena was developed in pursuit of an easy-to-use technology for highway driving conditions in Japan.
Audi autonomous prototype is cleverer than the Serena with ProPilot.