Nissan to Offer Hands-Free Highway Driving in Japan with ProPilot 2.0
【Summary】The automaker’s ProPilot 2.0 system will debut on the Nissan Skyline this fall in Japan and will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel during certain driving situations on the highway.
Nissan is the latest automaker to look into introducing more advanced driver-assist systems that can take drivers further out of the equation. At the moment, Nissan's ProPilot Assist is a mix of adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist that requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel at all times. For Nissan Skyline owners in Japan, ProPilot 2.0 will actually allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel.
Hands-Free Driving For Some
Nissan's new version of PrioPilot Assist, intuitively called ProPilot 2.0, will offer hands-free driving during specific driving conditions on the highway. The new driver-assistance suite will be launched in Japan this fall on the Nissan Skyline. If you're scratching your head and wondering what a Skyline is, Nissan sells the model under the Infiniti brand as the Q50. The Japanese automaker describes the system as being designed for "on-ramp to off-ramp highway driving."
If a hands-free driving feature sounds familiar, it's because Cadillac was the first to come out with a true hands-free driving system with Super Cruise on the CT6. By the sound of things, it looks like Nissan wants ProPilot 2.0 to be a direct competitor to Cadillac's system.
In order for drivers to be able to take their hands off the wheel, they must have a route programmed into the navigation system. Once that's completed, they have to respond to a prompt to engage the system at the appropriate time. With that done, ProPilot 2.0 takes over and handles steering, braking, and accelerating. Similar to Cadillac's Super Cruise, a camera mounted on the Skyline's dashboard is aimed toward the driver and focuses on the driver to ensure he or she is paying attention at all times.
What Else Is New?
While drivers will probably enjoy being able to take their hands off of the wheel, ProPilot 2.0 also brings lane changes into the mix. To engage a vehicle-assisted overtake, drivers are alerted to put their hands back on the wheel before the car completes the lane change, overtake, and return to its original lane.
The extra complexity of ProPilot 2.0 compared to ProPilot Assist means Nissan has had to pack even more hardware onto the vehicle. There are three front cameras, a front radar system, roughly 11 sonar units, three AVM cameras, and four side radar units.
With Nissan selling a version of the Skyline in the U.S., there's a chance that ProPilot 2.0 makes its way to the U.S. sometime down the road. ProPilot was first launched in Japan before being introduced in the U.S. market, so there's a high chance ProPilot 2.0 is making the same journey. Providing its upscale Infiniti brand with a semi-autonomous system that's slightly more advanced than ones currently found on the regular Nissan brand would help separate the two brands and solidify Infiniti's role as the high-end automaker in the U.S.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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