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How does Nissan’s ProPilot Assist work?

By now you’ve probably heard of Nissan’s semi-autonomous driving assistance technology called ProPilot Assist. The system originally debuted in the current generation Leaf back in 2017 and has since trickled down to more vehicles. You can now get ProPilot Assist in the Rogue, Altima, Rogue Sport, and soon, the 2022 Pathfinder. In Infiniti’s lineup, the QX50’s is currently offered with the system while its sibling, the QX55, will also get it.

In short, think of ProPilot Assist as a single-lane level 2 driver assistance feature. This means it requires you to keep your hands on the wheel. Using a radar sensor and a camera, the system works like a highly enhanced adaptive cruise control. This includes lane centering and steering assist, allowing the car to detect dividers and keep you centered. On well-marked roads, ProPilot Assist can help you take gentle turns. This is done via the car reading road markings and using the electric power steering to add extra inputs as you take the curve.

Nissan vehicles with ProPilot Assist can keep their adaptive cruise control active on congested roads thanks to the addition of traffic jam assist, sometimes known as a stop-and-go function. As a result, you can follow other vehicles at nearly all speeds and will even come to a complete stop if the car ahead does so. However, after 30 seconds of no movement, ProPilot Assist will deactivate meaning you need to reengage it using the buttons on the steering wheel.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is available with an upgraded version of ProPilot Assist in the SL and Platinum grades. Using the built-in navigation maps, the system can predict upcoming turns or freeway exits, allowing the car to slow down sooner and smoother. Along with the traffic sign recognition, which allows the car to increase and decrease speeds based on posted speed limit signs, the car can cruise more efficiently.

Among semi-autonomous driving assistance technologies currently available, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist is among the best. It keeps the car nicely distanced from the vehicle ahead without leaving so much space that another can cut you off even in the closest setting. The steering assist and lane centering function are gentle and unobtrusive too. You don’t feel excessive inputs as the system helps you navigate turns. In traffic, speeding up and slowing down are done smoothly, meaning you’re not getting jerked around when the car accelerates or brakes.

Nissan isn’t finished making improvements to its ProPilot Assist system. The 2022 Nissan Ariya will get ProPilot Assist 2.0, which will allow for hands-free driving, automatic navigation, and guided lane changes. Like General Motors’ Super Cruise, ProPilot Assist 2.0 requires the driver to keep his/her attention on the road. This iteration is already available in the Skyline sedan in Nissan’s home market of Japan. The Ariya will be the first vehicle to expand the newest version’s availability to other markets including North America.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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