If you can cut it in Tokyo, you’re good to go anywhere.

Nissan has demonstrated a prototype of its most advanced autonomous driving technology on public roads in Tokyo.

Planned for real-world use from 2020, the next-generation ProPILOT technology was fitted to an Infiniti Q50 sports sedan.

The technology enables the vehicle to operate autonomously on urban roads and freeways, from the time the driver selects a destination using the navigation system.

Artificial intelligence uses input from 12 sonars, 12 cameras, nine millimeter-wave radars, six laser scanners and a high-definition map to analyze complex scenarios in real time and navigate smoothly through challenging city conditions – such as crossing busy intersections.

These hardware upgrades, along with software improvements, also ensure smooth transitions when encountering obstacles in the road.

Nissan claims the result is a human-like driving feel that gives passengers peace of mind.

“Ingenuity is at the heart of everything we do at Nissan,” Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior vice president in charge of research and advanced engineering, said.

“Our next-generation ProPILOT prototype showcases technology that will be available for real-world use from 2020. Today’s demonstration is another example of our successful work toward creating an autonomous driving future for all.”

The demonstration follows the recent launch of the new, zero-emission Nissan LEAF, equipped with ProPILOT technology that enables single-lane autonomous driving on highways.

Nissan’s growing lineup of models with ProPILOT also includes the Nissan Serena, X-Trail and Rogue and will be joined by the Qashqai in 2018.


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.