Safety and accuracy are improved with Nissan’s new generation self-driving scheme. But hands-free is not always free from trouble. That’s a takeaway from a road test of ProPilot 2.0 technology from the automaker as the industry is scrambling to produce self-driving vehicles.
Several developments are made by the 2.0 scheme over Nissan’s first-generation ProPilot launched in 2016. The real hands-off driving and automated lane change are the chief among them. The old system does not allow you to drive to a destination or take instructions from the navigation system.
If a car driver speeds more than 10 km an hour (6 mph) beyond the specified speed limit, the no-hands feature will automatically shut down. To satisfy the robotic system, this requires re-grasping the steering wheel. This is a significant irritant for riders who want to drive faster.
Passing was almost impossible in instances where I came up behind a slower vehicle. ProPilot 2.0 has an automated capacity to pass, but the rush of vehicles overtaking me from behind generally hindered it.
Fortunately, the fundamental ProPilot feature — the one already on the market — kicks in when hands-off driving is unavailable. This program needs you to hold the wheel, but keeps the vehicle in the center of the road.
The Skyline’s traditional gasoline variants don’t offer ProPilot 2.0 as an alternative. This is because the hybrid system of the Skyline includes safety redundancies needed for the automated braking and steering of ProPilot, told Chief Engineer Shigetoshi Tokuoka. Nissan stated that the addition of the units to the gasoline versions was not worth the additional price.
Nissan’s greatest obstacle to bringing the improved 2.0 scheme to the U.S is mapping. For centimeter-level accuracy, the system depends on 3D high-definition highway maps. In compact Japan, this mapping is easily done than in extensive North America.
Nissan is planning to launch ProPilot 2.0 in the U.S., but it won’t be launched on an Infiniti nameplate, Tokuoka stated, who oversees both the Infiniti Q50 and Q70 sedans and the Q60 coupe. But he additionally said that timing is being set for the technology to introduce a fresh model. He wouldn’t explain whether that implies a fresh item or a current nameplate overhaul.