Today, most automobile manufacturers are aiming to make autonomous driving technologies ubiquitous in the coming years. Following in the same footsteps, Nissan has today announced that it plans to release an upgraded second generation variant of its electric vehicle — Leaf. This new LEAF is expected to arrive in the coming years but there’s a catch.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn took center stage at its CES press conference in Las Vegas to detail the company’s vision for its electric car, which was first released in 2010. The company mentions that the LEAF is one of the world’s best-selling EV with nearly 250,000 units sold along with more than 3 billion kilometers travelled. But Nissan is no longer focused on building just an electric car but step foot in the self-driving domain with its release.
The company now wants the new LEAF to represent the “the next chapter of Nissan Intelligent Power” and it will now be powered by their ProPILOT technology. This platform, which was first unveiled back in October, enables cars to autonomously drive themselves in a single-lane of traffic on highways. Further, the said EV is expected to provide a range of 200+ miles on a single charge but it could go farther if you count in the miles being completed by its competitors.
For those unaware of the ProPILOT technology, the automaker has now built a combination of steering, accelerator, and braking tech that can be employed to operate the vehicle autonomously. This has been designed to ease the driver’s workload during long commutes and the highway traffic. Activated using a switch on the steering, it uses advanced image-processing technology to analyze sensor and image data to control the distance from preceding vehicle.
At the event, Mr. Ghosn didn’t specify the exact details and dates for the release of the second generation LEAF but instead said it is coming in “the near future.” Further, speaking about the developments, he added,
Nissan’s commitment to zero-emission mobility extends beyond making a great vehicle. Nissan is helping to shape a sustainable ecosystem with a holistic approach – from building a robust charging infrastructure to recycling batteries to introducing the ‘vehicle-to-grid’ concept.