Nissan is the latest automaker to offer a hands-free driving mode. Its new ProPilot 2.0 setup will allow the driver to remove his or her hands from the wheel for extended periods of time in certain highway driving scenarios. The system launches this fall in Japan in the Nissan Skyline، which is sold in the United States as the Infiniti Q50 sedan، as the Car News said.
Many different conditions must be met before the Nissan's hands-free mode is activated. A destination must be programmed into the navigation system، the car must be traveling on a highway، and the driver must be paying attention to the road، as verified by a driver monitoring system. The system can only enable hands-free driving in a single lane، and it will prompt the driver to put hands back on the wheel to change lanes، using visual and audio alerts، if the car senses that there's an appropriate time to pass or if a lane change is needed for the route. The system also notifies the driver to take over steering when the vehicle exits the highway، with the system disengaging as soon as the car enters an exit ramp. Because ProPilot 2.0 is far more capable than Nissan's existing ProPilot system، there's plenty of new hardware involved. A whole range of cameras، sonar، and radar is needed to enable the single-lane hands-free driving mode، and a camera mounted on top of the dash is used for driver monitoring.
We don't know if or when the ProPilot 2.0 system will make its way to the United States، and we've reached out to Nissan and Infiniti for comment. If it does make it to our shores، our guess it that it will be available in the Infiniti Q50 at first، because that car is closely related to the Japan-market Nissan Skyline that will be the first model to receive the system starting this fall.