Nissan and Volvo Cars' autonomous driving: TU Automotive Japan 2016

Nissan’s ProPILOT is a simple system using a monocular camera and image analysis technology



The Nissan Serena, featuring ProPILOT autonomous driving technology on single highway lanes. (Photo: Nissan)

 TU Automotive Japan 2016 was organized by TU Automotive and held from October 18 to October 19 2016 in Tokyo.  This report will describe Nissan and Volvo Cars' autonomous driving technologies based on lectures by the two companies.

 In 2016, Nissan developed autonomous driving technology for single highway lanes, and intends to release autonomous driving technology for multiple lanes that enables lane-changing on highways in 2018, followed by autonomous driving on general roads including intersections in 2020. In August 2016, the OEM released its ProPILOT autonomous driving technology for single highway lanes in its Serena minivan, which is sold in Japan. ProPILOT achieves three autonomous driving functions: maintaining speed; tracking, stopping, and maintaining standstills; and steering control that corresponds to level 2 as designated by the NHTSA.

 Technically speaking, ProPILOT is a simple system that consists of a monocular camera, image analysis technology from Mobileye, and an original algorithm developed by Nissan.   It is offered as an option at a price starting from JPY 136,080 (tax included). The version scheduled for release in 2018, which can operate on multiple lanes, features additional cameras and radars, and the version that can be used on general roads, scheduled for release in 2020, is said to incorporate LIDAR and 3D maps.

 Volvo Cars is advancing its “Volvo Vision 2020” concept with an aim for Volvo vehicles to be involved in zero fatalities or serious injuries by 2020.

 Since 2015, Volvo has equipped its 90 series with Pilot Assist autonomous driving technology, a system equivalent to level 2 like Nissan’s ProPILOT. In 2017, the OEM will conduct public road demonstration experiments with one hundred of its customers in Gothenburg, Sweden, followed by London and in China. Volvo has announced that as long as it is being used appropriately, it will bear full responsibility for what happens when a vehicle is in autonomous driving mode.

Related reports:

U.S. NHTSA: Announcement of guidance for autonomous vehicles (November 2016)
Nissan to launch Serena autonomous vehicle and Note series HV in Japan in 2016 (July 2016)