When Nissan releases the latest generation of its all-electric Leaf hatchback later this year, it will feature a suit of semi-autonomous features that include braking, acceleration and steering assistance. Known as ProPilot, the system will even be able to function in stop and go highway traffic, thus making the most tedious driving conditions at least slightly less taxing. Using a network of cameras and radar sensors, ProPilot system will track lane lines as well as the vehicles directly ahead of and behind the new Leaf and adjust its speed to keep it perfectly centered. Nissan has also promised to add some more capabilities to the system in the near future, including the ability to navigate city intersections. Sometimes overlooked in the conversation about affordable, long-range electric cars, which tends to the focus on the recently released Chevrolet Bolt and much anticipated Tesla Model 3, the 2017 Leaf certainly holds its own, boasting a battery life of 107 miles and an MSRP of $30,680 before tax credits and rebates. To date, Nissan has sold more than 270,000 Leafs on worldwide. The second generation Leaf is expected to debut for the 2018 model year and will likely breach the 200-mile benchmark for single-charge range to keep up with the previously mentioned competitors. Adding semi-autonomous driving features to the Leaf is likely another attempt to get ahead of the Model 3, which will feature Tesla’s Autopilot system. Many automakers use electric cars to experimenting with automation because of the simplicity of the electrified powertrain. Unlike combustion engines that require constant adjustment to make sure the engine revolutions are at the right speed and the proper gear is being used, battery-power can simply be turned on and off, giving maximum power, acceleration and deceleration instantly. Once released, all new Leaf could secure Nissan’s current position as the top mainstream EV seller in the world.

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