The next Nissan Leaf will be a beneficiary of Nissan’s new semi-autonomous driving system that made its debut on the Serena minivan in Japan last August.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said Thursday at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas that the second-generation Leaf will feature the ProPilot system, which enables autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving.
Ghosn declined to publicly say when the new Leaf would appear, but don’t expect it before 2018. It will share pieces with the next generation of Renault’s electric vehicles, too.
Nissan said its strategy for bringing autonomous driving to the masses is based on four stages. The first stage is autonomous drive for single-lanes on the highway, which helps keep the car centered by reading lane markers, measuring the distance with the vehicle in front, and providing steering assistance.
Stage two is expected in 2018 and will bring autonomous drive on multilane highways, allowing the vehicle to merge and change lanes autonomously. Stage three is autonomous city driving, which Nissan says should become available in 2020, while the fourth and final stage is fully autonomous and driverless vehicles. Nissan did not say when the fourth stage will come into fruition.
The automaker plans to extend its autonomous driving technologies to more models in Europe, Japan, China and the United States, with 10 vehicles to be launched by 2020 by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including the Nissan Qasqai in Europe later this year.