Nissan, Tesla's biggest competitor in electrified vehicles, is lagging behind when it comes to autonomous driving. Radar-assisted adaptive cruise control has been available from multiple manufacturers for years, and Tesla's taken that a step further with lane-keeping, lane changing, and self-parking with Autopilot. Tesla CEO Elon Musk expects that they'll have full Autopilot — we're talking city-level — by 2017, but Nissan's own plans don't have such cars on the road until 2020.
Nissan's system, built on a testbed Nissan Leaf, includes five radar units, four laser scanners, and eight cameras for full 360° coverage. It's one of the cleanest testbed platforms we've seen — no unsightly giant protuberances, but it's not attractive (the base of the bug-eyed ungainly Leaf certainly doesn't help).
So when will Nissan's take on autopilot roll out? Well, they've already got cars that will do adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping, so check the box. Multi-lane "piloted driving", as Nissan likes to call it, is due in 2018, while full city-level autonomous driving is expected in 2020.
Meanwhile, Tesla is projecting to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by the end of 2017. Tesla's Model 3, the company's first generally affordable electric car, is due to start production at the same time, and everything from the layout of the dash to the teased "part two" of the car's unveiling to our overinflated expectations of Tesla as a miracle company would seem to indicate that a fully self-driving car is what Tesla has planned.
Nissan, meanwhile, might want to use their piloted-driving Leaf to plot a course to the nearest charge station. That 100-mile range isn't going to get you very far.