By Stewart Smith on 2016-05-20 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Nissan to launch
A NISSAN Qashqai that can drive itself will be on the road next year.
Following the Queen's Speech at the Opening of Parliament, which paved the way for the development of autonomous self-driving cars and legislation for insuring them, Nissan has announced it will be fitting the British-built Qashqai with its ProPilot technology.
The car company says the proposals outlined to Parliament will have a significant role in the adoption and integration of self-driving systems that can help reduce traffic congestion and vehicle incidents on UK roads, as well as creating new jobs in the UK's high-tech economy.
Nissan has already confirmed that the refreshed Nissan Qashqai will be the first Nissan car in Europe - and the first UK-manufactured car - equipped with autonomous technology in 2017 with ProPilot.
The car will be produced at the company's manufacturing plant in Sunderland and sold in the UK as well as markets across Europe.
ProPilot, Nissan's stage one autonomous drive technology, enables the car to drive autonomously and safely in a single lane in heavy traffic conditions.
The introduction of ProPilot in Europe next year is the first step in Nissan's longer-term commitment to launch a range of vehicles with autonomous drive capabilities by 2020.
In 2018 ‘multiple-lane control' in Nissan cars will allow them to autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes while driving. 2020 will see the launch of ‘intersection autonomy,' which will allow cars to navigate busy city junctions and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.
Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: "Any new legislation, such as we've seen announced, that supports the adoption and integration of autonomous vehicle technologies, is a positive for the UK."
"Autonomously-equipped vehicles will improve the safety and well-being of drivers, with fewer collisions and reduced traffic congestion. The UK economy can also benefit, by playing a pivotal role in a global industry estimated to be worth Â£900billion by 2025."
"Nissan is about taking innovative, premium technologies and making them accessible and affordable to the general public. We're excited to be debuting the first phase of our autonomous driving technology, ProPilot, on the Nissan Qashqai in 2017 - one of the UK's best-selling cars and a model produced right here at our Sunderland plant."
Nissan revealed its Qashqai Premium Concept vehicle fitted with self-driving equipment earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
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