Nissan is launching a more advanced driver-assistance feature in Japan that will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel during certain highway-driving situations, the company announced Thursday. Nissan ProPilot 2.0 will be introduced on the Japanese-market Skyline this fall. It's described as for "on-ramp to off-ramp" highway driving.
The technology is much more advanced than the existingfeature offered on some Nissan models, which still requires the driver keep his or her hands on the wheel. ProPilot 2.0, however, will allow hands-free driving in certain situations on divided-access highways. The driver must set a route in the navigation system and will be prompted to engage the system when it's available.
When active, ProPilot 2.0 will handle steering, braking and accelerating. A camera mounted on the dashboard monitors the driver to ensure he or she is still paying attention to the road. That's similar to the driver-attention monitors used withand .
ProPilot 2.0 can even change lanes to pass a slower-moving car. The system will prompt the driver to put their hands back on the wheel, then the system will automatically execute the lane-change, pass the other car and return to the previous lane.
As with all driver-assistance features like this, Nissan emphasizes that ProPilot 2.0 can only operate in certain, safe situations. For instance, it won't work around toll booths or exit ramps; the driver will be prompted to take over in those cases.
ProPilot 2.0 uses a variety of sensors including cameras, radar and high-definition maps. Drivers get audible and visual cues on the instrument cluster when the system is able to take control and when the driver needs to retake control of the car.
Because the Nissan Skyline is sold in the US as the, it's possible that the Q50 might get this technology at some point in the future. ProPilot Assist, for instance, launched in Japan before coming to the US. However, an Infiniti spokesperson in the US declined to comment on the announcement, saying via email that, "we haven't made any official announcements about future product or technology."