Nissan brings autonomous driving to the masses


Nissan will bring autonomous driving to the masses next year when it launches the technology on the UK's biggest-selling SUV, the Qashqai.

The automated tech, dubbed ProPilot, is designed to take the hassle out of monotonous traffic jams and long commutes.

Activated at the push of a button, it can control the car in stop-start traffic and drive it unassisted on single lane A-roads at speeds of up to 62mph.

However, in light of recent tragic accidents with similar technology on Teslas in the US, the Japanese manufacturer has been quick to point out its version is a 'driver aid' and not 'self-driving'.

Hideyuki Sakamoto, the Nissan executive in charge of the brand's autonomous technology, said: 'We don't have a full understanding on the Tesla system as it's not ours.

'However, we will be informing our customers of the constraints of ProPilot clearly. If they're not holding the steering wheel or paying attention they will be warned – the driver must always be ready to drive the car.'

Once activated, ProPilot can keep a car in its lane on a motorway, adjusting the steering automatically and compensating for merging traffic. If there is a car in front, it will follow at a safe distance or alternatively stick to a pre-determined speed in its own lane.

The technology is currently being rolled out in Japan on Nissan's new Serena minivan. However, by 2017 the system will be available on top-spec Qashqais and is likely to be an option on other trim levels too.