Does Nissan Have a Self-Driving Car?

Nissan’s ProPILOT system provides some autonomy, but a partnership with NASA is promising for Nissan’s self-driving future.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
ProPILOT system is a Level 2 autonomous driving technology designed for highways and single-use traffic that you can find ProPILOT on multiple 2022 models. 
Strides still need to be taken to achieve full autonomous driving capabilities, but Nissan hopes to make significant improvements with ProPILOT 2.0 and their Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) system. Considering NASA is partnered with Nissan to produce a fully autonomous vehicle, the sky is the limit—or space is for that matter!
Nissan’s mission statement prioritizes a high level of real-world safety. By producing a reliable fully-autonomous system, they intend to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths to virtually zero.
car insurance
experts at
are here to give you a sneak peek at their progress. We’ll cover Nissan’s current technology, plans for the future, and how self-driving cars work. Buckle up!
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Does Nissan have a self-driving car?

Self-driving has a ton of nuance to it. We’ll discuss the different levels of vehicle autonomy later, but let’s answer the question at hand. Yes, Nissan offers vehicles with Level 2 self-driving technology in models like the Rogue Sport, Altima, Pathfinder, and Leaf.
Nissan’s revolutionary ProPILOT system uses image-processing technology to understand and react to specific traffic situations. Here are some of the autonomous features:
  • Pre-set speed control
  • Following distance maintenance control
  • Automatic braking in stopping situations
  • Steering control in slow-moving traffic or highways
This is just the beginning for Nissan! ProPILOT 2.0 is in the works, and this technology will enable hands-off driving while cruising in a single lane. However, this system upgrade has only been tested in the Japanese market. It’s yet to be seen how it will be integrated into the North American Market.
These are just short-term milestones part of a much larger mission for Nissan. NASA and Nissan have joined forces to reach full automation. The two companies are working on their Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) system to meet this goal. 
Maybe this will finally be our ticket to taking a nap in the driver’s seat—but we’re not there yet.
Key Takeaway ProPILOT is Nissan’s most widely available self-driving system, but the Japanese automaker has high hopes for future innovations.

How do self-driving cars work?

To fully understand the current state of self-driving technology and how we can reach full vehicle autonomy, it’s essential to understand the
SAE Levels of Driving Automation
. Let’s break it down:
  • Level 0: No automation. The human is in complete control of the vehicle, but plenty of automated warnings are available.
  • Level 1: Driver assistance. The vehicle can perform single automation functions like lane centering or speed maintenance. The human remains in control.
  • Level 2: Partial automation. The vehicle can perform multiple automation functions, like lane centering and speed maintenance. The human remains in control (most auto manufacturers are here).
  • Level 3: Conditional automation. The vehicle can autonomously interact with its environment, but the human must continue to drive when requested.
  • Level 4: High automation. The vehicle can autonomously operate in limited driving conditions without requiring human attention or intervention.
  • Level 5:  Full automation. The vehicle can autonomously operate in all driving conditions without requiring human attention or intervention (goal of the SAM system).
Most automotive manufacturers are careful about jumping from Level 2 to Level 3. It’s not so much about the technological capability—it's more about liability when autonomy takes over. Self-driving technologies are highly scrutinized, and even one error can be damaging to the auto brand’s reputation.
Now, let’s talk tech. The ProPILOT system runs on 3D high-definition map data, 360-degree sensing, an intelligent interface, and high-precision satellite positioning technology. As the system collects information about the surrounding driving environment, it can assist the driver in real-time. 
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Best Nissans with self-driving technology

Even though the Level 2 ProPILOT system is in the spotlight, Nissan offers many other self-driving features falling under Level 0 and Level 1 capabilities. Here are the automation perks that are included in Nissan’s Saftey Shield 360 package:
  • Blindspot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • High beam assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Rear automatic braking
Even though most of these technologies fall into Level 0 or Level 1, they are still beneficial tools to increase your awareness and improve your safety on the road. These are building blocks of self-driving.
Now that we understand the groundwork of Nissan’s self-driving technology, let’s take a look at the full lineup of vehicles and their offerings.
Vehicle type
Standard safety technology
Starting price
Compact crossover SUV
ProPILOT Assist & Safety Shield 360
Mid-size sedan
ProPILOT Assist & Safety Shield 360
Mid-size SUV
ProPILOT Assist & Safety Shield 360
Hatchback electric vehicle
ProPILOT Assist
Subcompact crossover SUV
Safety Shield 360
Full-size pickup truck
Safety Shield 360
Economy sedan
Safety Shield 360
Subcompact car
Safety Shield 360
Luxury SUV
Safety Shield 360
Mid-size pickup truck
Safety Shield 360
Full-size SUV
Safety Shield 360
The future is undoubtedly bright for Nissan, but only time will tell how successful they will be in the race to full autonomy. Having NASA on their side certainly won’t hurt!

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