In Brief

Nissan teases driverless tech for new Leaf

ProPilot Assist will offer auto brake, accelerate and steer to keep drivers in right lanes

A teaser video from Nissan has given drivers a glimpse of some of the autonomous features set to appear on a new version of its Leaf electric car.

ProPilot Assist will help drivers stay in their lane by accelerating, braking and steering without any human input.

Drivers simply press a button on the steering wheel to hand over control to the vehicle's computer and then monitor it on a digital display on the dashboard.

It "will help with boring highway cruising", says Engadget, but is "a far cry from the semi-automatic" driver aids found on Tesla's Autopilot feature, which has been available on its electric cars for more than a year.

Autopilot matches ProPilot's ability to automatically keep the vehicle in its lane, but can also "self-park when near a parking spot and do canny emergency braking" - functions Nissan's system does not appear to be capable of doing.

However, in a similar fashion to Tesla, Nissan is expected to upgrade ProPilot's software through over-air updates. The company says the technology "will offer increasing levels of autonomy" over its lifecycle.

Comparisons are often drawn between the two companies as they both have mass-production electric cars due for release between the end of 2017 and early next year.

Nissan's Leaf is rumoured to be a direct rival for the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3. Electrek says both models will cost $40,000 (£31,000) and boast battery ranges of "over 200 miles".

The Leaf will "lead Nissan's charge to grow EVs [electric vehicles]" when it arrives, says Autocar, as the Japanese carmaker looks to have 20 per cent of its line-up powered by electric drivetrains by 2020.

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