The promise of self-driving cars is one that auto manufacturers are well within their means to produce. Nissan has had self-driving technology as a part of their vehicles since 2016, but the driving it provided was more along the lines of assistance to drivers rather than controlling the car outright. With the introduction of ProPilot 2.0, Nissan’s vehicles now can drive themselves on highways within the country, provided that the system has the road mapped out beforehand.
The new ProPilot 2.0 contains facial recognition software to aid in detection of drivers on the inside of the vehicle allowing the system to sense when drivers are drowsy at the wheel. Additionally, navigation and 3D mapping software have been added to the package to give the vehicle awareness of its spatial presence to within two inches. Vehicles can control themselves from entering the highway to leaving it. However, drivers are still required to have their hands on the steering wheel in case of overtaking.
A Significant Change to Technology
ProPilot 2.0 offers something revolutionary to the auto industry – a vehicle that is capable of driving itself. However, limitations and caveats do exist for this technology. The highways the car traverses must be mapped beforehand. In Japan, this isn’t such a big problem since the government helps with the 3D mapping of the country, and most highways are already on the database. In the US, with its thousands of miles of roadways, mapping can be a massive issue that the software needs to overcome.
Currently, most autonomous vehicles can utilize adaptive cruise control methods that enable the car to maintain a lane direction and a distance between the vehicle in front of it and itself. ProPilot 2.0 adds another layer to this awareness by monitoring the driver on the inside of the car.
Despite the shortcomings, Nissan is eager to implement the new technology in the Skyline (Infiniti GT50) so that drivers can start experiencing real self-driving convenience.