Hands-off on Japanese highways in a Nissan Skyline
Nissan's pro-pilot assist has already impressed us by being not only one of the more comprehensive active safety systems on the market but also one of the more affordable.
Nissan now has a new version called, appropriately, pro-pilot assist 2.0 and it's so good it'll let you take your hands off the wheel.
There's only one problem, it's not available in the US.
We've come here to Japan to take it.
In this crimson skyline out for ride.
We're entering onto the Tokyo Highway now, and at this point I can enter into profile a 1.0 mode, which is the mode we're already familiar with in the Nissan Leaf and a bunch of other cars currently available.
In the US market.
To turn this on, I hit the blue button here on the steering wheel, then I set the cruise control on.
And at this point, I have basically a very advanced version of adaptive cruise control.
So this system will automatically follow the car ahead of me, maintain distance.
Plus it will also center itself within the lane.
I can change the follow distance to make sure I'm following closer to the car ahead.
And the system does a really good job of keeping the car in line.
But we're not at a point where I can step into Pro Pilot 2.0 just yet.
Nissan engineers have to look at each section of highway to make sure that is safe for use with that system.
Basically we're looking at things like how many turns are there in the road, how many on and off ramps are there, and basically is it the kind of thing.
We can safely take your hands off the wheel.
Right now we're at a stretch of road is a little bit too complicated.
So again, we're staying in one point on mode for right now.
But when we get to point O mode, the system will send me a chime.
And that point I can take my hands off the wheel so we get a little bit further to go.
So we're stuck in traffic on a straighter stretch of highway which should allow me to go into the hands off mode here.
So I'm gonna go ahead and get into pro pilot one mode.
Okay, that chime was to let me know we're pro pilot one, and the cereal actually just turned from green to blue, which lets me know that now we are in pro pilot to mode.
And now I can take my hands off the wheel.
As you can see we're stuck in traffic, which is kind of the ideal circumstances to be using a system like this.
Because now the car is completely taken care of itself.
I can take my hands off the wheel, I can sit back and relax a little bit And well, maybe not enjoy the ride but at least you won't be quite so miserable.
But I cannot take my eyes off the road, at least not for long.
I can't take out a book, I can't take a nap because the car does need me to be paying attention so that I can take over if I need to.
And how's the car telling that I'm paying attention, well, there's an infrared camera built on the dashboard there that's watching my face.
So if I look away from the road ahead, or at least pretend to look away from the road here for a few seconds The car will warn me [SOUND] there.
So I got a beep and a red flash on the dashboard, as well as it displayed telling me to pay attention.
[SOUND] Some circumstances like this when someone cuts me off, I can be ready to take over control.
And that's why you need to be keeping your eyes on the road and your hands near the wheel at least in a situation like that.
[SOUND] I'm setting Pro Pilot back on again, now that we're not being cut off.
Green steering wheel means that I'm Pro Pilot 1.0 mode.
Okay, now we're back to blue again, so I can take my hands off the wheel.
And the car knows that I've taken my hands off the wheel, because it actually has a new steering wheel sensor built on.
The old car relied on, basically a torque sensor in the steering system to tell if there was the weight of your hand on the wheel Now it actually has the capacity of touch built into the rim.
So if I'm just touching the wheel in any way, it will know that.
So if you're in 1.0 mode, then it'll know.
But now that we're in 2.0 mode, if don't have to worry about that.
I can just take my hands off of the wheel, and away we go.
Another major component of this whole system is high-definition mapping.
As you can see, these highways are really narrow, at least compared to American highways, and they're pretty complicated.
So it's really important that the car knows exactly where it is, and exactly how wide the highway is.
That's another major piece that makes all this work.
And something that's gonna need to come together before we can bring a system like this to the US.
We need the same line of vision maps on all those highways.
Is that a Radical?
Hang on, I gotta catch up with this thing.
[LAUGH] As a radical just stuck in traffic in Tokyo.
Everybody has to keep his hands on the wheel but, damn I think it's awesome.
Now that we're up to speed a little bit, the traffic is clearing.
There's another thing that I wanna test which is to see if that infrared camera can see if my eyes are still on the road, when I put my sunglasses on.
Early cameras like that had a The issue is tracking people's pupils if they have their sunglasses on, but so far this one seems to be okay.
That really wouldn't be much of a problem here in Japan, where really not a lot of people wear sunglasses.
But in the US where just about everybody does.
It's a pretty important feature, and so far so good.
So that's a good sign.
So you got capacitive touch steering on the steering wheel, infrared camera watching me, and ultimately Much more relaxing way of getting through traffic than would be otherwise.
So the system won't automatically change lanes, you have to do a little bit more involved driving than just hitting the turn signal like you find on a Tesla.
You have to put your hands back on the wheel and press the lane change button here and the car will at that point will do the lane change itself and then make Make you basically keep your hands on the wheel for a few seconds afterward or a little bit longer perhaps until we get to a point where it can take over again and go fully hands off as we are now.
Another situation where you need to take control is when we come into a toll booth as we are at Just a few kilometers, the car at that point will hand control back to the driver and then you've gotta go back and drive it yourself.
This System of course doesn't just rely on those HD maps to see the world around it, it needs sensors 12 In fact, look at the world around it most important beings these three optical sensors built into the windscreen, one narrow field of view one wide and then a medium range as well.
Watching the traffic ahead those work in concert with cameras underneath the mirrors and at the back of the car to get the 360 view plus we got sonar sensors in the bumpers and of course a radar sensor up front that's pretty typical with any car with adaptive cruise these days this actually has radar on the corners as well giving it again a better look around the car.
How's it work Seems to work really well.
My only complaint is that you can't use it with something like Android Auto or Apple Car Play.
The system again is very dependant on those HD maps and neither of those implementation systems provide it.
Nissan's saying this is gonna be able in Japan in the near future, almost right now, it'll be hopefully rolling across their product line after that.
When will it come to the U.S.
Get a little bit longer to wait I'm sorry to say.
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