Nissan’s new autonomous drive assist technology, ProPILOT, is likely to start out as a £1,500 option in the updated Qashqai next year, but bosses have told it won’t be a scalable system that could later be updated with more advanced autonomous technology.
The first version of ProPILOT, Traffic Jam Pilot, is to be featured in the new, 2017 Qashqai, and will be able to control the car’s acceleration, braking and steering in single-lane traffic and highway use. Takashi Shirakawa, senior vice president of Nissan’s European Technical Centre, told us: “In Japan the option [sold on the Nissan Serena] is around 200,000Yen; it could sell for around £1,500 in the UK.”
The next versions of ProPILOT, called Highway Pilot and Intercity Pilot, are due in 2018 and 2020. The former will allow vehicles to automatically switch lanes and overtake on motorways, while the third version will be able to drive autonomously in certain urban environments.
However, early adopters of Nissan cars with the first iteration of ProPILOT won’t be able to upgrade to more advanced autonomous technology in the coming years, as they can with set-ups from other manufacturers such as Tesla. “The second and third generations will use different kinds of sensors,” Shirakawa added.