By unveiling a more advanced version of the ProPilot, Nissan has taken another step into the autonomous driving future. The system is called the ProPilot 2.0 and it's a driver assistance technology that combines navigated highway driving with hands-off single-lane capability.
Set to be introduced in the Skyline in Japan this fall, the technology has been designed for ramp-to-ramp highway driving. To enable it, the driver needs to engage the navigation system and predefine a route. When the car approaches the highway, they will be notified that the system is available and can be activated by operating a switch.
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Subsequently, they can take their hands off the steering wheel and relax. However, they will still have to keep their eyes on the road and be ready to intervene if needed, as another system monitors them. The car can thus drive on its own, maintaining a safe distance to the vehicle in front, which it can overtake if it’s traveling at a slower speed.
The driver will be required to place both hands on the steering wheel and operate a switch for this, as only then will the Nissan move into the passing lane (after scanning it first), perform the overtaking maneuver and then safely return to the original lane.
Drivers can also initiate a lane change on their own by putting both hands on the steering wheel and operating the turn signal. The vehicle will perform the maneuver after determining that it’s safe to do so.
Upon approaching the highway exit of the predefined route, drivers will get audio and visual notifications that the navigated driving is about to end and will have to resume full control of the car.
This technology has become available by combining cameras, radars, sonars, GPS and 3D HD map data. All of these work together to provide a real-time information of the surrounding environment, as well as the car’s location on the road.