Nissan has already started demonstrating its semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist technology to the press, with the system expected to be launched in the US later this year.
The company points out that the ProPilot Assist system is tuned specifically for U.S. roads and drivers, after more than 50,000 miles of development across the country.
The system combines Steering Assist and the company’s Intelligent Cruise Control for use in both heavy and flowing traffic conditions but Nissan calls it a hands-on system rather than a self-driving feature, as the driver’s hands must remain on the steering wheel at all times.
ProPilot Assist always gives priority to the driver’s inputs, with the Steering Assist feature to be disabled if the windshield wipers are in the low or high position – if lane lines can be detected, the system can remain active when the wipers are in the intermittent mode or if the mist function is activated.
“ProPilot Assist has the ability to track curving lanes, helping the driver stay centered in the lane as well as adjusting for various traffic flow conditions,” said Takeshi Yamaguchi, senior VP, Research and Development . “However, just as non-autonomous vehicles today, ProPilot Assist requires the driver to remain engaged in the task of driving at all times – though the technology can reduce driver fatigue and increase driving enjoyment.”
At this stage, Nissan describes it more like an enhanced version of their Intelligent Cruise Control, providing steering assistance when lane markers are consistently detected by the front camera.