Nissan has long provided Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) with the introduction of ProPilot Assist, powered by Mobileye across a wide range of it’s vehicles including the popular Nissan Rogue. It includes basic Stop-and-Go Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering, as many cars do today (see Cars with AutoPilot).
Now Nissan has announced the release of the upcoming ProPilot 2.0 in Japan which will have Tesla Autopilot-like features including the ability navigate from on-ramp to off-ramp automatically. In addition, it will go beyond Tesla’s Autopilot, by including an internal camera for driver monitoring that will allow hands-free operation, similar to Cadillac’s well-received Super Cruise system.
“We are talking of hands-off driving, and navigated driving,” said Nissan’s EVP Kunio Nakaguro in Yokohama, Japan. “I think we are the only ones that offer these two.”
Currently Only in Japan for Now
The system will, at first, be released this fall in Japan on Nissan’s Skyline, which is equivalent to the Infiniti Q50 here.
It remains to be seen when or if they will release it here in the US.
How It Works
Since the new system is far more capable than the existing ProPilot, Nissan is loading cars with additional sensor hardware, including additional cameras, sonar and radar (see image below), similar to Tesla vehicles. Interestingly, the system has no LiDAR (see LiDAR vs Cameras for Self-Driving).
Different from Tesla, Nissan includes side-radar to help with lane changes and an internal Driver Monitoring System (DMS) to allow for hands-free driving. Nissan has also said it will use 3D high-definition map data (HD maps) to help the system better navigate roads and have the ability to read and react to speed limit signs.
Hands-Free Driving using Eye-Tracking
Different than Tesla, however, Nissan includes an internal-facing camera for its Driver Monitoring System (DMS) that tracks the user’s eyes and ensures they are paying attention, similar to GM’s Super Cruise system. This allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel as long while the vehicle cruises in a single lane.
On-Ramp to Off-Ramp
Similar to Tesla’s Navigate-on-Autopilot feature, ProPilot 2.0 will allow a user to set a destination in the navigation system and assist in driving from freeway on-ramp to off-ramp, prompting users to change lanes as required, including suggestions for passing slower vehicles. The highways must be limited-access highways or freeways to avoid cross traffic from entering the roads.
Lane Change Confirmation
Unlike Tesla’s Navigate-on-Autopilot, the user must acknowledge lane changes and actually requires that hands be on the wheel during the maneuver.
Like with Tesla, once the user reaches the destination’s off-ramp, a user must take control again.
Partnership with Mobileye
The new ProPilot 2.0 continues Nissan’s partnership with Mobileye (an Intel company) which is the same company Tesla originally used in AP1 vehicles when it first rolled out Autopilot before switching to AP2 and the Full Self-Driving computer. Mobileye and NVIDIA are two of the leading OEM providers for ADAS and future self-driving technologies.