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Nissan has announced the launch of its autonomous driving technology, ProPILOT. The technology sees its debut on the new Nissan Serena that launches in Japan in August, but it will be coming to Europe in 2017 on the Nissan Qashqai, bringing self-driving functionality to the masses.

The technology is being described as a driving assist function that incorporates self-driving features, rather than a fully self-driving system, but it has simplicity at its heart. ProPILOT is activated and deactivated via the dedicated button on the steering wheel and it will take care of steering, acceleration and breaking, based on information obtained through a mono camera using advanced image-processing software.

The camera is able to recognise both preceding vehicles and lane markers in three dimensional depth. As with all autonomous driving technology available, the driver’s hands must remain on the wheel. Remove them and Nissan’s ProPILOT will give you two warnings, after which it will deactivate so no dancing to your favourite song.

Currently, the technology is designed for motorway use in single-lane traffic so it’s not possible to change lanes without the driver regaining full control. Nissan is expecting to introduce multi-lane support in 2018 however, along with urban and interchange capability by 2020.