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.

ProPi­lot 2.0 allows for hands-free dri­ving on the high­way.

Nis­san

The tech­nol­o­gy is much more advanced than the exist­ing ProPi­lot Assist fea­ture 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 his or she is still pay­ing atten­tion to the road. That’s sim­i­lar to the dri­ver-atten­tion mon­i­tors used with Cadil­lac Super Cruise and BMW’s lat­est assist­ed-dri­ving fea­tures.

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.

A dri­ver-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem ensures the dri­ver’s atten­tion remains on the road, even in hands-off dri­ving mode.

Nis­san

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, along with 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 Infini­ti Q50, 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. But there’s no word yet on whether that’s the case. Infini­ti rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the US did­n’t imme­di­ate­ly respond to a request for com­ment.

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