Nissan’s ProPILOT semi-autonomous drive system is being rolled out across markets like Japan, Europe and North America, and the Japanese carmaker hopes to bring the technology to as many regions as possible. This, in case you were wondering, does include the South East Asian region, according to the company’s Asia and Oceania sales and marketing head Vincent Wijnen.
Wijnen said that the take-up rate for the system – as well as other Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies such as ePower – has far exceeded expectations since it was launched in Japan in 2016, beginning with the latest fifth-generation Serena. He added, however, that these systems will need to be tested first before they can be introduced in a particular region.
“If we think specifically about ProPilot, it’s our obligation to make sure that these technologies are 100% safe, and that means that they need to be tested in each market where we launch the product,” he said. “Road circumstances are different everywhere, whether in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo or Indonesia. But it’s our intention, and we believe that these are part of the future of mobility, that these features will come in due time.”
Wijnen also said that these technologies are required as part of autonomous driving, which is why Nissan intends to bring them to each market, on every model, as soon as possible. He mentioned that the new Leaf, which is slated to be launched in Malaysia this year, will feature “all the features that are already on it,” although he did not clarify what exactly those features were.
His comments were echoed by his counterpart at Edaran Tan Chong Motor, Christopher Tan, who said that the government also has a role to play in bringing these technologies in. “The road to autonomous driving is more than just coming from car manufacturers and consumers. There is a huge aspect coming from the stakeholders about the government’s role in such legislation, and what legalities are involved.
“Already we can see in some markets, in America, where there have been some incidents with autonomous cars. It’s not very clear, it’s not very sure – is it the manufacturer responsible, is it the way the road system is, is it part of the government’s responsibility? I think all this very much still needs to be discussed deeply, and with that in time to come, we’ll be able to benchmark other countries that are already quite advanced in this area, and step-by-step adopt it.”
The current iteration of ProPILOT is a single-lane semi-autonomous drive system that utilises adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. A multi-lane system that can change lanes autonomously is slated to be introduced later this year, while a system that can handle city intersections will be operational by 2020.