The Serena is currently only available in Japan
Nissan has launched a new minivan in Japan equipped with some autonomous driving capabilities.
The all-new Serena, now in its fifth-generation, comes with a self-driving technology that Nissan is calling ProPILOT. Designed for "single-lane" highway use, it can accelerate, brake and steer all on its own once the system is activated.
Operating at speeds between 30 and 100 kph (18.6 to 62 mph), ProPILOT takes in images from a forward-facing camera mounted between the center rear-view mirror and windshield. The system works only on highways for now, and once activated can keep a constant distance between the Serena and the car in front of it using existing technologies such as adaptive cruise control.
The camera and on-board computer can recognize in three dimensions lane markers and other vehicles on the road, and can make steering inputs to keep the car within lanes. If the lead vehicle comes to a stop, so does ProPILOT, applying the brakes automatically and keeping them clamped after the Serena comes to a complete halt even if the driver's foot isn't on the brake pedal.
While ProPILOT is currently only available in Japan, Nissan intends to introduce it on the Qashqai model in Europe in 2017. US and China will receive the technology at a later, unspecified date. Nissan also states that autonomous highway lane-changing technology will be available in 2018, while autonomous driving in urban conditions, including intersections, will be available in 2020.