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Nissan Expands ProPilot ADAS Platform to More Vehicles

by Nathan Eddy
Nissan announced it is expanding its ProPilot advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) to additional models, including the Rogue Sport model in the US.

ProPilot is designed to help drivers stay centered in their lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic and maintain a set vehicle speed, as well as a set distance to the vehicle ahead.

The system is also coming to the Qashqai, built for the Canadian market, company CEO Hiroto Saikawa said during the company's fiscal year 2017 results announcement on May 14.

ProPilot uses a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and electronic control module, though the driver's input always takes priority, overriding the system when the steering wheel is turned or the turn signal is operated.

Drivers first push the dedicated ProPilot Assist button on the steering wheel and then set the Intelligent Cruise Control when the desired speed is reached.

The technology was originally introduced in 2016 in the Japanese-market Serena minivan, later expanded to include the electric Leaf, the European- and Canadian-market Qashqai, the Japanese-market X-Trail and the Rogue, Nissan's top-selling model in the US.

The platform underwent more than 50,000 miles of development on roads across the US, and combines steering assist and intelligent cruise control technology for use in both heavy and flowing traffic situations.

Nissan offers a host of ADAS and safety features, including front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and radar-based blind spot warning (BSW).

The company also provides High Beam Assist (HBA), which automatically turns on the high beam headlights when needed and switches to low beam when it detects a vehicle ahead.

The automotive ADAS sensors market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 21% worldwide over the next five years, led by vendors like Continental, Samsung, Siemens, Sony and Texas instruments, according to a Research and Markets report.

The report noted the progression toward self-driving vehicles as a key growth factor, but cited high costs associated with ADAS technologies as major challenge to growth.

"The high cost associated with the procurement and maintenance of ADAS technologies and systems have limited their incorporation in luxury vehicles," the report noted.

The study also pointed to the growing popularity of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors in camera-based ADAS, comprising noise-correction technologies, charge-to-voltage conversion technologies, digitized circuits and amplifiers.

Two companies hoping to benefit from the shift to CMOS sensors on ADAS platforms are TowerJazz and Newsight Imaging.

TowerJazz recently announced it is producing Newsight's CMOS image sensor chips and camera modules, customized for high-volume Lidar and machine vision markets.

The devices combine sensors, digital algorithms and pixel array on the same chip and are used in ADAS and AVs as well as in drones and robotics.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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