Nissan has announced that its new semi-autonomous ProPILOT Assist technology is ready to launch in the United States and it will start arriving later this year. The system is similar to other semi-autonomous systems as it helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with the steering, braking and acceleration on the highway.
ProPILOT Assist uses a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and electronic control module to help the driver stay in the center of the driving lane and to maintain vehicle speed. It can also maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it by reducing the vehicle’s speed if the vehicle in front slows down. ProPILOT Assist can also bring the vehicle to a complete stop during traffic jam conditions.
Unfortunately the system will not allow the driver to completely take its hands off the steering wheel, since hands-on detection is provided by the system’s steering torque sensor. If the driver only grips the steering system with a light touch, the warning system may activate, alerting the driver to apply more pressure or a tighter grip on the steering wheel.
Steering assist is also if the windshield wipers are in the low or high position, but can remain active when the wipers are in the intermittent mode or if the mist function is activated.
“ProPILOT Assist has the ability to track curving lanes, helping the driver stay centered in the lane as well as adjusting for various traffic flow conditions,” said Yamaguchi. “However, just as non-autonomous vehicles today, ProPILOT Assist requires the driver to remain engaged in the task of driving at all times – though the technology can reduce driver fatigue and increase driving enjoyment.”
Right now the technology only works with single lane highway driving, but within two years, Nissan hopes to have it ready for multi-lane highway driving and within four years it will be able to work in city traffic.