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Nissan ProPilot Offers Hands-Free Driving

Nissan ProPilot Offers Hands-Free Driving

Nissan has announced a new iteration of its ProPilot suite of driver assistance features that will enable hands-free driving while on the highway.

Like similar systems from other automakers, Nissan ProPilot 2.0 will handle the acceleration, braking and steering when the vehicle is on certain stretches of highway, but there are some caveats. The driver must have a destination in the navigation system, ProPilot will then provide a visual and audible notification to the driver when they are in a stretch of highway will allow for the hands-free experience.

ProPilot 2.0 is also capable of assisting with lane changes. The driver must have both hands on the wheel and turn on the blinker, but the car will eventually change lanes on its own when it deems it appropriate.

Nissan is able to provide a hands-free experience because the company is leveraging a camera inside the cabin to monitor driver attentiveness. This is a similar setup to Cadillac SuperCruise.

For now ProPilot 2.0 has only been confirmed for the Japanese market, will it will launch in the fall of 2019 in the Nissan Skyline sedan. There’s no word yet on when it will find its way to the U.S. market.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Tone
    Interesting. As these systems get better, I wonder if they will lead to autonomous driving or actually reduce the demand of fully-autonomous vehicles (unless they come at no real additional cost).

    Hear me out -- autonomous city driving will probably be a hard problem to solve. There are just too many things going on -- pedestrians, cyclists, traffic moving from all kinds of directions and a LOT of changes (construction, accidents, deliveries, drop-offs, etc). The good news is that the speeds are low (and will likely trend downwards in dense areas). The bad news is that there is a LOT of stuff to keep track of that won't be sensored. I suspect the first use case in urban areas will be special corridors with Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Infrastructure communications, but those won't be cars we buy -- they'll be shuttles. Ironically, as they get better, though, they may reduce driving in urban areas as they'll reduce the need to deal with parking.

    Highways, on the other hand, despite their speeds, seem like an easier problem to solve. All traffic is moving in one direction and there's limited on-ramps/off-ramps. And, people are more likely to be in the car for longer on highways, where having the car do some of the work can make a real difference in fatigue. As these assists get cheaper, will we get to a point where the available technology already solves most of the problem; automated shuttles in cities have made personal city driving less desirable (thanks to the need to find parking); and full automation in personal cars is a step-jump in price? If so ... maybe this will be as far as private car owners want to go.

    The wild card in all of this is AI. AI needs training data to get better. Tesla's whole Autopilot roll out is basically an exercise in getting the most training data possible to make Autopilot better. If Telsa is right, AI and limited (read cheap) sensors will get us all the way to full Autonomy. In that case, full autonomy isn't really much more expensive than today's Supercruise/ProPilot options -- in that case it's hard to imagine full autonomy not winning out.
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