Nissan on Thursday announced an upgraded version of its ProPilot self-driving system that will enable hands-free travel on the highway.
ProPilot allows a vehicle to travel in a single lane and handles all of the accelerating, braking and steering. However, it requires both hands to be on the steering wheel to work. This isn't the case for the upgraded version, dubbed ProPilot 2.0, which means you could potentially travel from an on-ramp to an off-ramp without touching the steering wheel.
You still need to pay attention, though. When the system detects a change in the road ahead or a slower vehicle that can be passed, it will prompt the driver in a timely fashion using audio and visual warnings to take back control. A camera in the cabin monitors the driver for attentiveness.
Nissan ProPilot 2.0 electronic driver aid
ProPilot 2 can also help with lane changes. In this case, both hands need to be on the steering wheel and the turn signal activated. Once the system detects that a lane change is possible, the vehicle will then automatically change lanes.
ProPilot 2.0 is similar to Cadillac's Super Cruise system in that it relies on numerous sensors and cameras as well as highly detailed maps and the vehicle's navigation system to guide it. To activate it, a route must be entered into the navigation system. When the vehicle approaches a section on the route where the system can function, the driver will be given audio and visual cues.
Right now ProPilot 2.0 has only been announced for the Japanese market. It will be available in the fall of 2019 on Nissan's Skyline sedan, which is the Japanese market's version of the Infiniti Q50.