What is Nissan ProPilot?

Nissan's comprehensive semi-autonomous driving system includes features such as adaptive cruise control and park assist

Chris Rosamond
Sep 1, 2021

ProPilot is the name Nissan gives to a set of semi-autonomous driving systems that all work using the car’s onboard radar, electric power steering, and cameras to perform a set of functions that would previously have been left entirely to the driver.

Cars with the ProPilot system currently focus on two aspects of driving, namely keeping up with the traffic and parking. Keeping up with the traffic is a role performed by the ProPilot’s adaptive cruise control system, which can be set to follow the car ahead at your required distance, even when the traffic is stopping and starting as it often does on a congested motorway. Taking things a stage further, a ProPilot equipped Nissan will also keep your car centred in its lane while following the car ahead, even when following a gentle curve.

As with similar semi-autonomous systems, ProPilot still requires the driver to maintain overall control of the car, so you can’t take your hands off the wheel or - heaven forbid - try for a nap. However it does reduce the workload on the driver, with a view to making progress easier and more relaxing.

ProPilot Park is Nissan’s automated car parking system that does allow you to take hands off the wheel while your car parks itself. ProPilot Remote Park allows you to squeeze your Nissan into tight spots while standing outside and controlling it via the Intelligent Key.

Which Nissans have ProPilot fitted?

The ProPilot system is available on higher-spec versions of the Nissan Juke, Leaf, X-Trail, and Qashqai here in the UK. So far, the hands-free Pro Pilot 2.0 system is only available in the Japanese market.

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What is Nissan ProPilot 2.0?

ProPilot 2.0 takes things to the next level, by offering a ‘hands-off’ capability when driving on the motorway.

The upgraded system uses 360-degree sensors to build up a picture of its surroundings, and via sat-nav integration (Nissan calls this Navi-Link) it will change lanes and steer towards exit ramps. While this could theoretically be done automatically, the driver is nonetheless required to put their hands back on the wheel and activate these manoeuvres using a switch. This is how driver attention is guaranteed, and of course, the system can be overridden at any time by driver inputs to steering, brakes, or accelerator.

How ProPilot works

Cars fitted with the ProPilot system use a camera at the top of the windscreen, along with a radar behind the Nissan badge in the front grille. These build up a picture of the road ahead, thanks to advanced image processing software that allows the car to recognise and react to road markings and vehicles ahead.

The ProPilot 2.0 system is a lot more advanced and includes seven cameras, five radar sensors, and 12 sonar sensors installed at points around the car.

ProPilot 2.0 relies on 3D high-definition map data that covers road info down to the centimetre level and includes data on road curvature, gradient, lane-marking, speed limits, and signs.

Its intelligent interface assesses all the available information and determines lane change timings interactively.

 

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