Autonomous Driving

BMW has announced a partnership with Amazon to utilise their cloud computing technology for the development of their semi-autonomous driver assistance system. This advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) will be integrated into BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse electric cars, set to debut in 2025. This move underscores a broader trend among traditional automakers aiming to enhance their vehicle technology, especially ADAS, to remain competitive with Tesla.

ADAS encompasses software systems designed to assist drivers with tasks like lane changes and parking, and automakers are progressively introducing more such features as they progress toward autonomous driving. Tesla’s ADAS, known as Autopilot, serves as an example of this trend.

The effective functioning of ADAS relies heavily on data processing, given the essential hardware components like cameras and semiconductors. Artificial intelligence plays a pivotal role in these assisted driving systems.


The Mercedes-Benz EQE Saloon demonstrates its advanced capabilities through the Remote Parking Package and Mercedes me connect service’s Intelligent Park Pilot feature. This innovation offers heightened automation and driverless parking at SAE Level 4 autonomy. The Automated Valet Parking service is also available for compatible EQS Saloon and S-Class Saloon models. This marks the expansion of highly automated parking, including integration into upcoming Mercedes-Benz models like the E-Class.

The highly automated parking function offers several benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need for manual parking, saving customers both time and hassle. This convenience is particularly noticeable in tight parking garages. Using the Mercedes me App, the driver can reserve a parking spot beforehand. Upon arriving at the parking garage, they simply drop off the car in a designated area and activate the parking process via the app. Once the Automated Valet Parking infrastructure assumes control, the driver can leave the garage.


Honda, like other responsible carmakers, has been committed to ensuring that road accidents caused by motor vehicles are reduced, if possible to zero. After all, it supplies those vehicles and therefore has to ensure that they are not only safe to use but also safe to other road-users.

It has constantly introduced new safety features and systems in its vehicles as new technologies have been developed. Today, its Honda SENSING system integrates many active safety systems to work more effectively and intelligently to assist the driver and also prevent accidents. The Honda SENSING suite was first introduced in 2015 with the CR-V and has been included with new models since then.

Honda SENSING is being continuously improved and apart from the basic system – which already consists of a number of active systems – there are additional versions such as Honda SENSING 360 and Honda SENSING Elite for more sophisticated applications in certain models.


DENSO, a company within the Toyota Group, has developed an improved version of its Global Safety Package which is an active safety system designed to improve the safety of vehicles by giving them high sensing capability of their surroundings. The system is already in use in many Toyota Group models and this latest third generation will be offered from now on.

The Global Safety Package uses the combined performance of a millimetre-wave radar sensor and vision sensor to obtain data on the various objects ahead of the vehicle. The radar sensor detects the shapes of road objects, such as vehicles and guardrails, while the vision sensor uses a camera to detect the environment ahead of the vehicle. This data is then analysed at high speed by an on-board computer which will determine the situation ahead and whether any warnings are to be given to the drive, or actions taken to prevent an accident.

Radar Sensor
In the new Global Safety Package, the radar has a wider detection angle, longer detection range, and improved speed resolution. There are also improvements such as in-antenna design and in radio wave transmission efficiency. The wider angle of coverage can help avoid collisions at intersections, whether with other vehicles or pedestrians.

The sensor’s wider horizontal field of view also assists adaptive cruise control and lane changes over a broader speed range. Moreover, the product uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve sensing performance and assistance functions, such as headway distance control – the ability to maintain consistent distance between a preceding vehicle – and traffic sign recognition.

With reduced size and cost, this radar sensor has fewer installation requirements and can be used in more vehicle types and models. It uses fewer than half the number of parts compared to the previous generation. This has been achieved by integrating the antenna and power supply board, simplifying product structure and leveraging multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology, which allows for a smaller antenna with fewer channels to transmit and receive radio waves.

Vision sensor
The vision sensor is a high-sensitivity, high-resolution imager with a wider horizontal field of view and longer detection range. It employs AI technology to identify drivable areas, preceding vehicles, road signs, and other solid objects based on image data. Vehicles and pedestrians in all directions, including those ahead, behind, and to the side, can be detected.

Like the radar sensor, it has reduced size and cost. The downsizing  was achieved by integrating image processing and system control functions, which reduced the number of microcomputers used. The structural design has also been adjusted to control heat emitted from the processor, while the lens design has been revised.

DENSO will continue to improve its active safety systems to eliminate road accidents and provide stress-free mobility. This will be done using cutting-edge technology with an underlying objective of pricing the systems attractively so they can be installed in more vehicles.

Daihatsu, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota to jointly develop specifications for vehicle communications devices

For those who have not followed the changes in Cadillac, the quintessential American automobile brand, their products are no longer the huge and heavy ‘aircraft carriers’ they once were. In fact, since the 1980s, the General Motors subsidiary has been ‘downsizing’ in response to energy concerns and the need to look for socially acceptable.

It now has to transform again for the electrified era and future personal mobility. With the vast resources of General Motors to draw on for development of entirely new electrically-powered models, Cadillac will soon be coming out with new cars that maintain its reputation of premium luxury travel.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

Vision of personal autonomous future mobility
At CES 2022 this week, the company showed one vision of personal autonomous future mobility with the InnerSpace concept. This is a futuristic 2-passenger fully electric and autonomous luxury vehicle which is part of the brand’s Halo Concept Portfolio. This portfolio represents future possibilities with a range of personal autonomous options and advanced connected vehicle features. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies designed to enhance the passenger experience along with the increased personal time enabled by fully autonomous mobility, the InnerSpace grows the Halo Concept Portfolio.

“The vehicles of the Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio are designed to provide effortless travel through extraordinary means,” said Bryan Nesbitt, GM Executive Director, Global Advanced Design and Global Architecture Studio. “They are visions for the next decade and beyond, showing the possibilities enabled by General Motors’ comprehensive approach to autonomous drive technology with the goal of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio
Cadillac introduced the first two Halo concepts last year at CES: the PersonalSpace, a single-seat, personal vertical take-off and landing concept designed to literally move its passenger above the din and congestion of ground traffic; and the SocialSpace, a roomy, autonomous vehicle for up to six, designed to help passengers relax and recharge.

Conceptually, the portfolio repurposes how passengers use their time while traveling, providing a space for solace and respite. Full autonomy relinquishes the responsibility of vehicle control while dramatic design and advanced technologies maintain the sensation of arriving in a Cadillac.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

In fact, technologies such as biometric input and AI machine learning are harnessed and complement Cadillac’s luxury environment to support unique wellness experiences. Through software-defined features and advanced vehicle connectivity, the Concept Halo Portfolio could offer each passenger a truly personalized experience made possible by GM’s Ultifi software platform. The experiences showcased within the Halo Portfolio demonstrate the potential as both Ultifi and autonomous technology continue to evolve.

“Electrification and autonomous driving will fundamentally change the role of vehicles and the experiences customers have with them,” said Nesbitt. “We’re exploring where that will go with these innovative concepts, envisioning mobility as an ally of wellness, giving customers the ultimate luxury, more personal time rather than taking it.”

Reimagining the luxury experience
Early in Cadillac’s history, compact and personal Runabout models enabled customers to explore new and wider horizons. The new InnerSpace concept reimagines that as a vision, with a fully autonomous experience that allows the two occupants to focus on their journey rather than driving.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

The vehicle’s fully autonomous capability means they can give more attention to the world around them. Inside too, they will have more personal and tailored experiences that add new dimensions to motoring. AI-driven biometric input and interfaces, accessible via a large, immersive and panoramic SMD LED display, will allow passengers to select from Augmented Reality Engagement, Entertainment and Wellness Recovery themes for their drive. Thanks to Ultifi, Cadillac engineers and authorized third parties will be able to innovate additional themes and features that can be added over the air.

With the Ultium Platform’s wireless battery management system, the battery modules are spread about the concept vehicle, which allowed designers to optimize the cabin for spaciousness and serenity. This design freedom also allowed for a low-profile floor, providing an extremely low, sports car-like seating position.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

The InnerSpace design features expansive, panoramic glass on the roof and part of the body sides for almost unimpeded views. The roof opens with the doors for more comfortable entry and egress, and the seats also pivot outward when the doors are opened, enhancing the effect.

Even the tyres are designed to contribute to its solace. Specially developed by Goodyear for electrified vehicles, they feature SoundComfort technology designed to help mitigate soundwave resonance within the tyre for a quiet ride, while soybean oil and rice husk-based silica replaces petroleum-based oil as a key ingredient in their construction. And because autonomous driving takes away some of the driver’s connection with the road, Goodyear SightLine, Goodyear’s tyre intelligence technology, conveys important information about pressure, temperature, load and other performance factors.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

2022 LYRIQ will be first model in Cadillac’s electric-only range moving forward

Carmakers wanting to enter the US market have often found that the west coast state of California is a good place to start. It seems that consumers there are receptive to new trends and new cars, so Volvo Cars will introduce its unsupervised autonomous driving feature, Ride Pilot, to customers in the state of California first.

‘Unsupervised’ would mean that Ride Pilot offers the highest level of autonomous motoring where humans do not have to be involved at all. It’s the stuff of science fiction movies and will free up more time for the occupants to do other things. Whether we can call it ‘driving’ any longer is something that will need to be debated.

In tandem with the introduction of Ride Pilot, the company is also setting a new standard for safety, with over-the-air (OTA) software updates in combination with a state-of-the-art sensor set-up. The software is developed by autonomous driving software company Zenseact, together with Volvo Cars’ in-house team of developers, and developers from Luminar, one of its technology partners.

The sensor set-up consists of more than 2 dozen sensors, including Luminar’s cutting-edge Iris LiDAR sensor, which will be tightly integrated with the developed software. Luminar’s LiDAR sensor will complement 5 radars, 8 cameras and 16 ultrasonic sensors in Volvo Cars’ upcoming fully electric SUV. This standard sensor set-up provides excellent vision and perception reliability. Together with continuous, over-the-air software rollouts, the system will ensure full redundancy and enable Volvo Cars to achieve safe autonomous driving with Ride Pilot.

For autonomous motoring to be safe with no supervision by humans, the vehicle will have to be able to scan all round with various sensors to detect other vehicles and hazards. The sensors will include cameras mounted in the windscreen like the ones shown below.

Rigorous testing and verification
While this software-sensor combination, and the safety it enables, will be standard, available from day one on the new SUV and improved over time, Ride Pilot will be made available to customers only once it has gone through Volvo Cars’ rigorous verification and testing protocol. This includes validation of the technology as safe for use on highways in a number of varying conditions. This new flagship for the company will be revealed later this year.

As part of this verification process, Volvo Cars is already testing autonomous driving functionalities on roads in Sweden together with Zenseact, and collecting data across Europe and the USA. By the middle of this year, the company intends to begin testing on roads in California (pending approvals from relevant authorities), where the climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favourable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving.

But where and how far autonomous driving will be permitted is not known yet. In some countries where autonomous vehicles are permitted to operate, only limited sections of public roads can be used. On such roads, the surrounding environment is properly prepared to ensure that the imagery systems can correctly function to detect and identify road hazards and signage.

More free time on a journey
The name ‘Ride Pilot’ implies what the driver can expect: when the car is driving on its own, Volvo Cars takes responsibility for the driving, offering the driver comfort and peace of mind. By using Ride Pilot, drivers will be able to free up time while driving, and spend it on secondary activities such as reading, writing, working or socialising. The feature can also help drivers arrive at their destination rested and recharged, by reducing the mental strain that may come with driving, especially in traffic jams or heavy traffic.

Without the need to supervise what the car is doing, the driver will be able to do other things like read or even talk on a phone without breaking any law. Perhaps the occupants could even sleep on the journey – but can it be called ‘driving’ then?

“We are proud to announce the planned US launch of our first truly unsupervised autonomous driving feature, as we look to set a new industry standard for autonomy without compromising safety,” said Mats Moberg, Head of Research and Development at Volvo Cars. “Having Zenseact’s brand-new AD software and Luminar’s LiDAR standard in our new fully electric SUV is a game-changer for Volvo Cars, as well as for automotive safety and autonomous driving.”

Human drivers use two eyes, autonomous cars need three eyes

With more and more vehicles – including those from entry-level brands like Perodua and also pick-up trucks – having advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Euro NCAP has started to assess some of the systems which assist driving. The independent organisation tests not only the car’s ability to assist and promote safer driving, but also evaluates how such Assisted Driving systems engage the driver and, if the unexpected happens, what safety back-up is offered by the vehicle.

The present focus is on Highway Assist systems, which help the driver to maintain a steady speed, to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane by combining (intelligent) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Lane Centering (LC). Highway Assist systems are designed to assist the driver, not to take control, and the driver is expected to keep his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road at all times.

Adaptive Cruise Control, using camera or radar (or both), maintains a safe gap with vehicles ahead, regardless of the cruising speed set.

The technology, first offered on more expensive premium vehicles over the past 10 years, has gone mainstream in recent years and is now available on cars in all categories, butt with varying degrees of sophistication and at different price points.

Lane Centering systems, using a camera to monitor road markings, help prevent the vehicle from departing from its lane and endanger vehicles in other lanes or go off the road.

In its previous rounds of Assisted Driving tests in 2018 and 2020, Euro NCAP found some vehicles promised more than they could deliver, implying, through their naming and interaction with the driver that they provide more automation than they were capable of doing. All the cars tested in this round, however, offer a balance between Assistance Competence – the degree to which the system can help the driver – and Driver Engagement – the extent to which the driver feels they must remain in control and not disengage from the driving task.

“This balance between assistance and engagement is crucial. Cars are not yet capable of fully automated driving and drivers should not be misled into thinking that they are. Reports from America have highlighted the very serious problems that can happen when people have an unrealistically high expectation of what such systems can offer, and when the car in which they are driving does not actively try to get them back in the loop. We are pleased that the manufacturers represented in this round of tests make clear the level of support that they can provide,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary-General of Euro NCAP.

2022 BMW iX3 EV
BMW iX3 – rated ‘Very Good’ in Assisted Driving assessment.

Euro NCAP’s first Assisted Driving gradings of 7 models equipped with Highway Assist show the overall best performer as the BMW iX3, which was graded as ‘Very Good’. Two others – the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the CUPRA Formentor – achieved ‘Good’ gradings. The assist systems of the Polestar 2 and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 were graded as ‘Moderate’, while the Toyota Yaris and Opel Mokka-e were considered to offer ‘Entry’ level systems.

The BMW iX3, although a variant of the X3 range, has a new sensor set, not yet available on its combustion-engined stablemates and the grading of its automated driving system applies only to the all-electric version. The Polestar 2 achieved a Moderate grading, limited by its performance in Vehicle Assistance. Polestar will perform an over-the-air (OTA) update of the car’s software very soon and Euro NCAP will again assess the car.

2020 Toyota Yaris Gen 4 Europe-Japan model
Even entry-level models like the Toyota Yaris (European model shown) have systems that can provide the driver with a useful level of support, enhancing safety.

The range of cars tested demonstrated the growing prevalence of Assisted Driving across the spectrum of vehicle categories. Entry-level systems, while offering less functionality than more sophisticated ones, nevertheless provide the driver with a useful level of support, and that fact that they are offered on volume-selling cars shows the direction of travel for automated driving.

Euro NCAP’s tests are set against a rapidly changing legislative background. Technology is developing very quickly and the degree of automation that is allowed and what action the car must take when, for example, it tries to hand control back to an unresponsive driver, is being reviewed. The organisation says its future tests will take these regulatory changes into account.

The explosion that saves lives instead of kills…

Fully autonomous cars are still many years away but the industry is slowly equipping some of the new models with the capability to operate autonomously, both to reduce driving fatigue as well as to improve motoring safety in general.

The upcoming Volkswagen Polo is one of the world’s first small cars that will be capable of partly automated driving. With the optional IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist, the hatchback will be able to steer, brake and accelerate automatically on request. This is made possible by. Volkswagen is consolidating its systems on the road to automated driving under the IQ.DRIVE umbrella brand.

2021 Volkswagen Polo

These technologies have up to now only been available in larger models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Passat, Arteon and Touareg. As a first in its class, the Polo now also permits partly automated driving across the entire speed range.

What is IQ.Drive Travel Assist?
IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist is an extremely easy-to-use system, with operation not much different from current cars where activation can be done using buttons and switches on the steering wheel. In the case of the new Polo, the multifunction steering wheel has a separate button for the smart assist system.

2021 Volkswagen Polo

When activated, the car assumes partly automated lateral and longitudinal guidance. The system is based on the fusion of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and adaptive lane guidance, combining for lateral and longitudinal guidance.

ACC is already common in many cars, maintaining a safe gap with any vehicle ahead even when a cruising speed has been set. The speed will be adjusted accordingly and the set speed will be resumed once there is no vehicle ahead, as monitored by a radar.

Additional autonomy
In the Polo, there is also a predictive – forward-looking – ACC system in combination with the navigation system and dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). Among other things, this will allow the vehicle to react to bends or town boundaries and reduce speed. Additionally, a camera-based Dynamic Road Sign Display helps the Polo computer to ‘know’ how fast it can travel legally.

The lane keeping system known as Lane Assist scans the area in front of the Polo using the same camera in the windscreen as the Dynamic Road Sign Display system. The camera detects the lane markings and steers correctively as soon as any unintentional movement out of the lane is detected.

2021 Volkswagen Polo

If IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist is active, the predictive ACC and adaptive lane guidance work together as described. In other words, the Polo brakes, accelerates and steers automatically within the system limits. However, the driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel, as they are always responsible for judging the traffic situation and controlling vehicle behaviour. The driver signals this preparedness via the capacitive surfaces of the steering wheel rim, which respond to touch.

With the manual 5-speed and 6-speed gearboxes, IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist can be used from a speed of 30 km/h to the maximum speed of 210 km/h. If the Polo is fitted with a 7-gear dual clutch gearbox (DSG), the assist system is available from the moment the car starts moving.

2021 Volkswagen Polo

With IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist and DSG, it is therefore possible to drive with assistance and thus more comfortably in stop-and-go traffic jam situations. Those who prefer to be more involved in their motoring can keep IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist switched off. However, partly automated assist systems relieve the strain on drivers, especially on long journeys.

The autonomous road ahead
Based on the industry-accepted classifications that have 6 levels (from 0 to 5), IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist meets the requirements of Level 2 partly automated driving by taking over both lateral and longitudinal guidance at the same time. Taking into account the legal situation and with respect to safety, Level 2 is considered the most suitable at this time.

For safety reasons, the driver must still continuously monitor the system. Only when this is no longer necessary does the more highly automated Level 3 start and that will be a major leap forward. Still, in Level 3, the driver must be potentially prepared to take control when necessary. Over time, the higher levels will become available, reducing driver involvement to the point where only the destination just needs to be set and the car will operate by itself from start to finish.

Autonomous vehicles will not be suitable globally for some time as it will depend on local regulations as well as the ability of the road network to allow such vehicles to operate safely. Even now, autonomous vehicles are allowed to operate only on specific sections of highways in most countries.

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The Perodua D55L SUV (likely to be just the codename for now) was ready for launch earlier but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian carmaker delayed its launch. Now the time is right for it to enter the market and bookings are accepted from today at all authorised Perodua showrooms nationwide.

Spiritual successor of Kembara
Adapted from the latest Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize, the spiritual successor of the Kembara is said to be the most advanced Perodua yet. It will be available in three variants – X, H and AV –  at prices estimated to range from RM62,500 and RM73,400 (excluding insurance). As the model should be in the market before June 30, 2021 when the sales tax exemption is set to expire, customers will also get the money-saving benefit.

“The Perodua D55L is the first model under the Perodua Smart Build blueprint, spearheading breakthroughs for Perodua in style, safety, technology, equipment levels and value,” Perodua’s President & CEO, Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad said.

2020 Daihatsu Rocky
The new Perodua D55L is known to be adapted from the latest Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize.

Toyota Raize

Autonomous motoring for all variants
The claim of being the most advanced Perodua comes from being the model of the brand’s model to offer Level 2 Autonomous motoring. The second of 5 levels in the industry-accepted standards established by the SAE (the American Society of Automotive Engineers), Level 2 allows automatic operation of certain driving functions. These can be related to cruising, steering and braking, but the driver must still monitor the road ahead and take action if necessary.

In the D55L, Perodua’s Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) – standard in all variants – will allow higher operating speeds than the current version and is capable of detecting 2-wheeled vehicles. Also available will be Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, while the top AV variant has Lane Keep Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control.

That’s certainly a lot of advanced technology which would never have been expected from an entry-level brand like Perodua. “True to our aim to continually bring more and more advanced technology to the masses, the Perodua D55L AV is Malaysia’s most affordable Level 2 Autonomous vehicle, bringing state-of-the-art safety and convenience to a wider audience,” said Dato’ Zainal.

First Perodua with turbo engine and CVT
The D55L will also be Perodua’s first turbocharged vehicle, in line with the global trend of using forced induction while downsizing engine displacements. Perodua has not mentioned the engine size although it is likely to be a 1-litre 3-cylinder unit similar to that of the latest Rocky. Additionally, it will be the first Perodua to use a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which will help it achieve fuel consumption claimed to be up to 18.9 kms/litre.

Other features include LED headlamps (standard across the range), while H and AV variants get Adaptive Driving Beams, a 7-inch TFT multi-info display and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice command capability.

Built and painted at Perodua’s factory, the X and H variants are available in Glittering Silver, Granite Grey and Cobalt Blue, with the H variant also available in Pearl Diamond White and Pearl Delima Red. The last three colours are new for Perodua. The top AV can be had in Glittering Silver, Granite Grey, Pearl Diamond White, Pearl Delima Red, or the last two colours with a black roof. A 5-year or maximum of 150,000 kms warranty is offered with every new vehicle.

‘Perodua Smart Build’ launched as carmaker’s first sustainable blueprint

Having to continuously hold the steering wheel while driving can be tiring but it should be done for safety reasons. On long journeys, many drivers may wish that they could just take their hands off the steering wheel, just like cruise control where you set the desired speed and don’t have to keep pressing on the accelerator pedal. It helps to reduce fatigue and makes motoring more enjoyable.

Cruise control is now available in many cars but ‘hands-off driving‘ is still rare as carmakers are still developing the systems to ensure safety. However, Nissan’s new ProPILOT 2.0 system already offers it in the latest Skyline which is now on sale in Japan. The award-winning advanced driver assistance system – a unique ‘wow’ factor for the model – lets drivers take their hands off the wheel under certain conditions in a single lane on certain highways in Japan. It also assists the driver with traveling on a multi-lane highway until reaching a predetermined exit, able to handle overtaking and lane changes.

Nissan ProPilot

For the team that developed the ProPILOT 2.0 system, creating a ‘wow’ factor wasn’t the goal. “Our team started the development of ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) technology 20 years ago,” explained Tetsuya Iijima, General Manager of Autonomous Driving and ADAS at Nissan, whose team developed ProPILOT 2.0. “And in the first 10 years, we were mostly focusing on the driver assistance technology to help avoid accidents.“

Many safety technologies were world firsts at the time of introduction (indicated by a ”1“).

20 years of innovations in safety
In 1999, Nissan introduced adaptive cruise control, which helps prevent rear-end collisions [with the vehicle ahead] by reducing the car’s speed when it approaches a vehicle in front. In 2004, Nissan was the first carmaker to introduce a lane departure warning system. This evolved into a lane departure prevention system that physically helps the driver manoeuvre their car back into its lane. Neither was intended to ‘wow’ customers – they were simply meant to help avoid collisions due to driver inattention or in emergency situations.

Iijima’s team went further, pursuing driver safety and peace of mind in non-emergency situations as well. “We shifted to more integrated driver assistance systems,” he recalled. “Such systems assist in multiple tasks leading to a safe and comfortable overall driving experience.”

Nissan ProPilot
Display when the car’s computer is doing the driving.

Nissan ProPilot

The first-generation ProPILOT was launched in 2016 and was an outcome of this effort. Currently available in certain models in selected markets, it assists with steering, acceleration and braking in a single lane. The technology works in tandem with the driver, providing peace of mind and helping reduce fatigue behind the wheel.

“We drew a realistic roadmap to deliver more sophisticated and trustworthy technologies step by step,” Iijima explained. “That’s the reason we came to this point faster than anyone else.”

Field tests and feedback accelerate introduction
Getting advanced safety technologies to customers early and receiving their feedback helped Nissan in its continued pursuit of driver safety and comfort. Iijima’s team also carried out field tests in San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo starting in 2013. “These experiences gave us rich information that helped us expand the technology’s capabilities,” he said.

Nissan ProPilot

The introduction of ProPILOT 2.0 marked another major milestone for these efforts. It uses 5 cameras including one trifocal camera, 5 radars, and 12 sonars for a 360-degree, real-time picture of the vehicle’s surroundings. The system combines this with high-definition 3D map data that covers the number of lanes, merging and split points and intersections to provide a smooth driving experience. Going beyond the original ProPILOT, the second-generation system also supports lane changes and hands-free driving under certain conditions.

“After 20 years, we’ve come to a certain point where the driver can trust the system and allow it to support major parts of driving on the highway,” Iijima said. “ProPILOT 2.0 integrates a whole suite of new technologies that required support from other suppliers – like a high-definition map provider and a sensing technology provider. So, this is really a collaboration.”

“Our team always gets a bit overwhelmed when starting to work on entirely new technology,” Iijima revealed. “However, when we complete development and see it benefiting customers, we gain new confidence and energy to go to the next step.”

Nissan Intelligent Mobility System
The Nissan Intelligent Mobility System available in some models sold in Malaysia such as the Serena, X-Trail and LEAF EV is also the outcome of constantly evolving safety technology at Nissan. The intelligent technologies available include an Intelligent Around View Monitor which has 360-degree coverage that also has sensors to detect moving objects around the vehicle.

Nissan Intelligent Mobility System
Intelligent Around View Monitor is part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility System in the Serena.

 There’s also an Intelligent Forward Collision Warning system with emergency braking which immediately activates if there is a likelihood of hitting the vehicle ahead. If the system finds that the driver has not reacted in time, then it will immediately apply the brakes. Even if a collision occurs, its severity can be reduced as the braking lowered the speed earlier.  The Intelligent Driver Alertness system detects when the driver is drowsy and suggests taking a break.

Visit www.nissan.com.my to locate a showroom where you can experience these advanced Nissan technologies.



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