2018 Nissan Leaf to Keep Drivers Informed of Semi-Autonomous Tech via Tesla-Like Display ""
Posted on: June 22, 2017

2018 Nissan Leaf

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the yet-to-be-released 2018 Nissan Leaf EV is a small steering-wheel button labeled Pilot. Nissan, for the first time, showed us this button—but not the rest of the new Leaf—by releasing a photo of the car’s steering wheel and digital gauge cluster. So what does it do?

Take a gander at the left side of the Nissan’s gauge cluster, and the answer should be clear to anyone who has seen Tesla’s iconography and instrumentation for its Autopilot semi-autonomous technologies. Below the word “Pilot” is a green steering-wheel icon and green-lit lane-marking illustrations. Then there are renderings of the Leaf and another car, which reveal that the Leaf will have adaptive cruise control meshed with a steering-assist function for semi-autonomous driving capability. Oh, and Nissan has said so, too. The system is dubbed ProPilot Assist.

The instrumentation for the new Leaf’s semi-autonomous tech mimics that in Tesla’s Model S almost exactly. For instance, the green steering wheel means the system is active and ready to steer the car for the driver. The green lines indicate that the Tesla’s forward-facing camera has detected the lane markings on the road (so the self-steering function may follow them), while the little car rendered in front of the digitized version of the Leaf between those lines represents other traffic detected by the camera and radar sensor. So far, Nissan is saying only that ProPilot Assist can steer, brake, and accelerate the Leaf during single-lane travel, indicating that, for now, the system can’t change lanes on its own or at the driver’s prompting the way Tesla and Mercedes-Benz models can.

As for the rest of the second-generation Leaf’s story, from its battery capacity to its looks, we’ll need to wait until it is fully revealed in September. For everything we know so far, check out our most recent spy photos and analysis here.

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