Nissan, which has promised to have self-driving cars on the road by 2020, took one more small step toward that goal in Japan.
Serena, a commercial van with some self-driving capabilities, is on the road, but like most carmakers working on autonomous vehicles, Nissan appears ready to only come close.
Serena, pictured, uses a single camera on the rear-view mirror, and its abilities only match what’s already on the road in Tesla’s Autopilot and Mercedes-Benz’s suite of self-driving options (designed to help drivers stay out of trouble, but not drive for them). Serena will follow in stop-and-go traffic and perform most driving functions on the open highway, but requires the complete attention — and hands — of the driver, who activates the system with a lever on the steering column and must keep hands on the wheel at all times.
Nissan’s ProPilot is an important step toward self-driving cars, but proof the industry still isn’t there yet.