While most carmakers were flaunting their plans for the future on the exhibition center floors of the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan took to the streets to show consumers just what the Japanese automaker has in store for them. Using a modified Infiniti Q50 sport sedan equipped with an array of cameras, radar, sonar sensors, laser scanners and high-definition mapping, Nissan demonstrated its next-generation ProPilot technology on the public roads of Japan’s busy capital. The system’s advanced artificial intelligence is capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, and can even navigate urban streets on its own. Nissan’s current proPilot system, available for both the new 2018 Leaf and 2018 Rogue, can best be described as a “hands-on” driver assistance feature that possesses a lane-centering system as well as adaptive cruise control. According to Nissan it “enables single-lane autonomous driving on restricted highways.”
While it serves as a helpful tool to the everyday long distance commuter, it still requires the driver’s full engagement and grip on the wheel at all times. At most it could be classified as capable of Level 2 autonomy. This is still a remarkable accomplishment for the brand, but far from where it hopes to be in only two years’ time. If this most recent demonstration is any indication however, the automaker is well on its way. The Q50 prototype’s fully autonomous ProPilot system appeared to be met with rave reviews from those who tested it. The vehicle steered itself through crowded highways, city traffic, and even performed somewhat complicated tasks like merging, lane changing, and turning at busy intersections.
“Ingenuity is at the heart of everything we do at Nissan,” said Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior vice president of research and advanced engineering. “Our next-gen ProPilot prototype showcases technology that will be accessible for real-world use from 2020. Today’s demonstration is another example of our successful work toward creating an autonomous driving future for all.” Nissan debuted a number of other upcoming products at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show including the all-electric zero-emissions IMx crossover which according to the automaker has a range of over 373 miles.