Nissan announced that a semi-autonomous ‘Piloted Drive’ version of the popular Qashqai will hit the European market in 2017.
Following the company’s commitment to offer autonomous driving technology into affordable models, the Nissan Qashqai will be the first to be equipped with the stage one ‘single-lane control’ feature.
The system will allow the car to drive autonomously in a single lane in heavy traffic conditions on highways. Nissan promises that more models equipped with the Piloted Drive 1.0 system will follow.
During the next four years Nissan will also launch vehicles with increased autonomous capabilities like negotiating hazards and changing lanes on their own while on highway with the launch of the ‘multiple-lane control’ feature.
By the end of the decade, the company wants to offer full autonomy within city walls, where the car can negotiate cross-roads and intersection without driver intervention.
The first models with the Piloted Drive 1.0 system will come to Japan later this year. Nissan will arrange the first on-road demo on European soil this year too, to prove the maturity of their autonomous drive technology.
Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe said during the announcement: “ (Nissan Qashqai) is a car people love. It’s a car people trust. It pioneered the crossover boom, and now it will spearhead Nissan’s move towards launching a range of vehicles with autonomous drive capabilities from 2017. Yet again, we are taking technology normally found in premium cars and making it accessible to millions of motorists.”
“The introduction of Piloted Drive technologies will be an evolution not a revolution as the building blocks for this are already in place in many of our cars today through our Safety Shield Technology,” added Willcox. “With the driver in control, we want to remove the pain-points of being behind the wheel, like navigating heavy traffic, to put the excitement back into driving.”