All the car manufacturers in the world are working day and night on autonomous driving technology. The latest to enter the fray is Nissan with its Serena minivan. This will make Nissan the first Asian manufacturer to enter the market with a car that autonomously controls the steering, brakes and throttle on the highway.
Having previously teamed up with NASA to develop its ProPILOT technology, Nissan is set to bring this system to the consumers in the fifth generation Serena minivan, set to be unveiled at the end of August. Serena is an all Japan model but Nissan envisions to release this autonomous version of the van in Europe by introducing ProPILOT on the 2017 Qashqai.
The system is designed for single-lane highways and uses a mono camera to recognize lane marking and other vehicles in three dimensions. The speed will have to be preset by the driver and the car will automatically maintain a safe distance from the car in front and keep itself in the center of the lane. It will slow down and speed up as necessary and even come to a complete stop when the car in front stops.
To move again, the driver will have to press a button and tap the throttle and the car will start driving itself again. The system is currently set for single-lane use only but Nissan is confident that the autonomous lane-change technology will be developed by 2018 and we will see this autonomous driving vehicle on the road, tackling the traffic by 2020.