Nissan has confirmed that the upcoming facelifted model of the Leaf electric vehicle will be available with its ProPilot autonomous driving technology.
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ProPilot isn't like Tesla's Autopilot technology, so it can't take full control of the vehicle. Instead, it works in a similar way to adaptive cruise control, by monitoring the car in front, and adjusting your car's speed accordingly, and even braking if necessary. The technology can also follow road markings and turn corners for you, but the ProPilot mode can only be used in single lane traffic, so think A-roads rather than motorways.
ProPilot is part of Nissan's Intelligent Mobility range of driver assistance technologies, which already include blind spot warning, moving object warning, which detects if people or other objects are moving around the car and rear cross traffic alert which lets you know if any cars are coming within range of the car when reversing. Nissan hasn't made it completely clear, but we expect ProPilot will be available as another optional extra on the Leaf when you're making an order.
We've experienced Nissan ProPilot before, and found it to be an effective system. It worked how it should have done, so slowed down it approached a car in front and brought the car back up to speed when there was enough room. There are a couple of niggles with it, but they're safety features that we felt could be relaxed a little.The system can only be used up to a maximum speed of 62mph, acceleration up hills and inclines wasn't amazing, and if the car is at a standstill for longer than three seconds, you need to reactivate the feature.
Needless to say, by making ProPilot available on the Leaf, Nissan has given its electric vehicle yet another reason to consider going green. The Leaf was not only the world's first mass-market fully electric vehicle, but it has gone on to become the world's best-selling too, with more than 270,000 sold worldwide.