Nissan Qashqai to receive ProPilot Assist self-driving tech later this year

2018 Nissan Qashqai
The Qashqai will receive Nissan’s semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist driving technology later this year. (Photo: Nissan)

Nissan Canada just announced that its semi-autonomous “hands-on-wheel” ProPilot Assist technology will be added to its popular Qashqai subcompact SUV later this year, likely as part of its 2019 package. 

“Nissan continues to democratize technology, bringing our most advanced systems to our highest volume models, rather than reserving them for our most expensive vehicles,” said Bert Brooks, senior manager, product planning, Nissan Canada Inc., last year when introducing the technology to the larger compact Roque. “Customers are delighted when they realize they can afford technology usually reserved for high-end, expensive luxury vehicles. Bringing unexpected value is core to the Nissan brand and our Nissan Intelligent Mobility mission.” 

Nissan ProPILOT Assist technology
ProPilot Assist, shown here in the Nissan Rogue, has been set up to work on North American highways, reading our signs and programmed for our driving style. (Photo: Nissan)

ProPilot Assist controls acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving, but take note you’ll be required to remain totally alert and involved during the process, with your hands on the wheel (at least most of the time). 

ProPilot Assist is well tested, with Nissan having driven more than 320,000 kilometres of North American roads using the semi-autonomous technology, the automaker stating that it was specifically designed to respond to North American road markings and driving situations. 

Nissan also claims ProPilot Assist is more intuitive and user-friendly than other driver-assist technologies, and furthermore that it can help reduce driver fatigue and allow for a more confident driving experience, especially for drivers that regularly experience heavy highway traffic. 

Nissan ProPILOT Assist
The bright blue ProPilot Assist button can be set just like cruise control. (Photo: Nissan)

Those looking for even more autonomy from their future cars can take heart that Nissan will be evolving ProPilot Assist to include increasing levels of autonomy in future updates, with the ability to navigate city intersections and more.  

The news of ProPilot Assist on the 2019 Qashqai comes hot on the heels of January’s milestone announcement of 75,000 global ProPilot Assist sales, when Nissan USA executive vice president Daniele Schillaci added, “ProPILOT is a breakthrough technology and an important building block for fully autonomous vehicles under our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision. It delivers a much more exciting drive, so it’s no surprise that it has received such strong, early customer acceptance. ProPILOT is another example of how we’re delivering exciting technologies today through Nissan Intelligent Mobility that will move everyone to a better world.” 

Nissan ProPILOT Assist
ProPilot Assist, shown here in the 2018 Rogue, gets its own colour interface within the multi-information display. (Photo: Nissan)

Nissan plans to make ProPilot Assist available in nine more Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance models by 2020, with North America, as well as the European, Japanese and Chinese markets, benefiting from the investment. 

As noted in an earlier quote, ProPilot Assist is part of a larger technology suite dubbed Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which the automaker previously described as a “blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.” 

2018 Nissan Qashqai
We can expect additional ProPilot Assist features to be added on in coming years, such as intersection capability. (Photo: Nissan)

“The world is facing serious challenges such as climate change, traffic congestion, road fatalities and increasing air pollution,” said Brooks. “Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are committed to addressing these challenges by making transportation safer, smarter, and more enjoyable. The new ProPilot Assist technology is a perfect example of how we can make drivers feel more confident and more connected to their vehicles.” 

Along with the 2018 Rogue SL Platinum, ProPilot Assist is also available with the redesigned 2018 Leaf. 

To find out more, check out this short explanatory video that accompanied the initial ProPilot Assist announcement as part of the 2018 Leaf: