While the race for fully autonomous vehicle is still very much underway, companies are focusing on a new classification of vehicles, known as the semi-autonomous cars. The vehicles would feature some of the abilities of the fully self-driving cars, but will not be able to control all aspects of the drive on its own. Nissan is one of the companies which is offering these Semi-Autonomous Vehicles, which will let users activate some selective features involved in self-driving.

Nissan has been developing this particular aspect of the autonomous vehicles, known as the ProPilot Assist, and it will be able to offer assistance to drivers and help them to navigate busy freeway intersections.

The ProPilot Assist is already available in some other countries, but Nissan has now announced that soon it will be launched in the United States as well.

ProPilot features

Nissan stated that the feature, which is slated to be unveiled in the country by the end of 2017, is not complete autonomous software. Instead, it is a much simpler form of autonomy. In case of single lane driving, the Assist will be able to detect the cars in front of it through specialized camera and sensors. It will also automatically maintain speeds and even slow down when the car in front brakes.

However, Nissan strictly stressed that it was not meant for hands-free autonomy. Users will have to manually control certain aspects, such as steering in case of changing lanes.

ProPilot will also not be able to navigate the car in city streets or engage the brakes in case of an emergency. To avoid any kind of accidents, the company has placed sensors on the steering wheel which will detect whether the driver’s hands are firmly gripping the wheel. If the hands are removed, the vehicle will stop to protect itself and the driver itself.

Testing performed on the car showed that the ProPilot Assist feature is quite simple to activate with just two taps of a button. However, as Nissan stated the feature is not a real autonomous system and can only be used to gain respite from having to continue that the driver’s car is in the same line at a distance from the vehicle in its front.

The ProPilot Assist will be able to perform these features perfectly.

Nissan autonomous vehicle future

The company revealed that it would be launching support for multiple-lane highways in Assist within the next two years. Support for city roads is expected to arrive in the next four years, while complete self-driving capabilities will take much longer. Fans will have to wait patiently for now and hope that the ProPilot Assist works as advertised.