Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has announced that it will equip its best-selling Qashqai SUV with autonomous driving technology by 2017.
The new system, which Nissan has been keen to add is a ‘driver aid’ rather than ‘self-driving’ following the news of a fatal autonomous driving accident at Tesla, will be activated by a button embedded on the steering wheel. Once the technology is activated, it will control the car in stop-start traffic, as well as driving unassisted on single-lane A-roads up to maximum speed of 62mph.
As part of Nissan’s push to ensure that the technology is safe and that drivers don’t wholly rely upon the new system, the manufacturer said that drivers must have their hands on the steering wheel at all times. If users take their hands off the steering wheel while the technology is running, they will be given a two-stage warning to put their hands back on the steering wheel.
With many manufacturers added similar technology to their cars over the next few years, car dealerships will no doubt be looking to stock vehicles with driving aids. If your business wants to increase or change its stock quota, you must ensure that your motor trade insurance and road risks insurance policies are fully up to date. It would be wise to have demonstration cover in place, too, to ensure that customers can take the vehicles for a test drive upon request.
Nissan’s ProPilot system will also be available for use on UK motorways — it will keep the Qashqai SUV in lane and look ahead to compensate for merging traffic. Furthermore, if the vehicle is directly behind another road user, it will follow at a safe distance or stick to a pre-determined speed in an empty lane.
The new technology is currently being trialled in the company’s Serena minivan in Japan. The plan is to then roll out the technology in the UK via its latest top-spec Qashqai SUV models — starting at £27,000, the top-spec Nissan Qashqai SUV accounts for 50 per cent of the model’s sales in the UK, with 60,812 being sold in the country last year.