Nissan ProPilot 2.0 driver assistance debuts in Japan, but won't be in the US for a while

July 22, 2019

Nissan's ProPilot driver assistance system received a few notable upgrades in Japan, though it may be some time before the system is ready for a road trip in the U.S.

According to an Automotive News (subscription required), the Japanese automaker needs to do quite a bit of work before ProPilot 2.0 can tackle U.S. highways. In current cars in the U.S., ProPilot Assist combines the brand's steering assist and adaptive cruise control technologies. ProPilot 2.0, however, offers hands-free driving on the freeway from on-ramp to off-ramp in some cases.

2019 Nissan Skyline (Japan spec)

2019 Nissan Skyline (Japan spec)

In Japan, Nissan will launch the system on the latest Skyline sedan, which is sold as the Infiniti Q50 in the U.S. The system will be able to handle hands-free driving from on-ramp to exit ramp and the technology can handle passing cars on the freeway, plus lane changes. Japanese regulations require a driver's hands to be on the wheel for overtaking and lane changes, but the human driver does not need to intervene in these instances, according to Nissan.

2019 Nissan Skyline (Japan spec)

2019 Nissan Skyline (Japan spec)

The problem with bringing that tech to the U.S. is how big the country is. ProPilot 2.0 needs to work with 3D-mapped highways and interstate. Nissan's technology uses seven cameras, five radar sensors, and 12 sonar sensors. The 3D mapping software pinpoints the car's location to within about two inches. In Japan, a small country, most of the freeways are already mapped accordingly with backing from the government. The U.S. is, obviously, a far larger country with millions of miles of interstates and local highways.

Nissan will continue testing the system before it's ready to launch ProPilot 2.0 in North America. The brand said its Level 2 self-driving system is currently present in 350,000 cars sold worldwide since 2016.

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