Nissan turns over a new self-driving Leaf with ProPilot

Nissan has revealed some of the self-driving features coming to the next generation Leaf EV, due to start shipping before the end of the year.

The ProPilot driver assist is not anywhere near the fully autonomous future we keep hearing about, but it will control steering, acceleration, and braking in a single freeway lane.

See Also: Renault-Mitsubishi head sees self-driving dominance in 5 years

Nissan has been toying with self-driving for a few years now and already has driver assist programs active in Japan. ProPilot will release in North America and European markets.

Freeways are expected to be the only place ProPilot will work, highways and non-urban roads are still out of the picture in 2017. Nissan plans to roll out lane change assist by 2018, but did not say if the Leaf EV launching this year would receive future updates.

The Nissan Leaf EV 2017 will have a 60kw battery, good for 200 miles. That’s double the current Leaf’s battery size, without any major changes to the size of the car.

Nissan is, like most automakers, playing it safe. After a few high profile accidents involving Tesla drivers and Waymo cars, the public are still against self-driving cars being allowed on the roads with human drivers.

That said, Nissan has held driverless trials in Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. to show off its self-driving prowess. It is just going to take a few years for that to come to market.

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