What is Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0?

Jack R. Nerad | Apr 06, 2022

Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 is yet another advancement in the auto industry's quest to perfect self-driving vehicles. The ability to offer the public self-driving cars is a dream the auto industry has been pursuing for well more than a decade. One step along that path is "ramp-to-ramp" autonomous driving.

2023 Nissan Ariya Grille with Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 ADAS

As its name would suggest, ProPilot Assist 2.0 represents the second generation of Nissan's existing ProPilot Assist suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 is a ramp-to-ramp system designed to give the drivers of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles so-equipped the ability to experience restful hands-off driving when cruising on specified sections of roadway. At the same time, it requires drivers to remain attentive to the driving task and, importantly, be ready at a moment's notice to take over control of the car should the situation call for it.

What is Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0? - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 is a suite of ADAS that combines navigation-assisted highway driving with hands-off single-lane driving capabilities. As a ramp-to-ramp system, its hands-free driving capabilities are only available on mapped, limited-access highways designated for its use. It provides driver assistance in situations typically encountered on expressways, freeways, and Interstate highways. Those include:

  • Passing
  • Lane diversions (places where the highway divides)
  • Lane exiting

Unlike fully autonomous driving systems, Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 requires the driver to remain attentive to the driving task throughout the journey. The system will sometimes use audio and visual signals to prompt the driver to put both hands on the steering wheel. The driver must be prepared to take immediate manual control of the wheel when conditions of the road, traffic, and vehicle require it.

What is Nissan ProPilot Assist Designed to Do? - Find the best Nissan deals!

A ramp-to-ramp ADAS technology enables the vehicle to leverage well-traveled, pre-mapped, limited-access highway systems while not requiring it to negotiate driving situations that are particularly challenging and potentially hazardous. Among the most obvious of these are intersections because the rules of the road when streets cross one another are particularly challenging for automated systems to sort out.

At the same time, the system can be very helpful by providing hands-off driving at a speed set by the driver while cruising in a given lane. And it can indicate to the driver that it is possible to pass a slower-moving vehicle when the conditions are favorable.

When the opportunity to pass a slower-moving vehicle exists, the system prompts the driver of that by audio and visual cues. For the driver to complete the pass, they must agree to the action by putting both hands on the steering wheel and activating a switch. At that point, the vehicle moves out of its travel lane into the passing lane and overtakes the slower-moving car.

Once the driver passes that vehicle and it is safe to return to the original lane, the system again prompts the driver. After the driver indicates agreement by putting both hands on the wheel, the system will maneuver the vehicle back into the original travel lane.

The driver can also initiate a lane change by putting both hands on the wheel and using the turn signal to indicate the desired lane. The system then uses its sensors and computer logic to determine if a lane change is possible and initiates and completes it.

When the vehicle nears a highway exit that is part of its pre-set route, it notifies the driver that navigated hands-free operation is about to end. As the car reaches the exit ramp, assisted driving disengages, and the driver must take manual control.

How Does Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 Work? - Find the best Nissan deals!

A substantial amount of technology is required to enable Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 to work as described. One critical element is high-precision satellite positioning technology that allows the system to place the vehicle's second-by-second position on mapped highways. This is crucial for the system to function when the vehicle is on multi-lane highways, on a highway that runs parallel to a local road, and in instances when multiple off-ramps occur in close proximity.

At the same time, the system requires high-definition map data of the highway and surroundings. This mapping goes far beyond most "street maps" to include road curvature, slope, elevation, lane markings, speed limits, and road signs. When the vehicle is proceeding on the pre-determined route, the system marks the car's progress to the centimeter.

But the system requires more than just knowing where the vehicle is concerning the highway lane. It also needs to have a picture of the positions of the other cars and the lane markers. It incorporates multiple cameras, radar sensors, and sonar sensors to do that. Additionally, it must be able to "crunch" all this incoming data in real time to steer and control the throttle and brake. This requires a significant amount of computer power programmed to integrate all the data and provide the proper inputs to the vehicle on an ongoing basis.

Summary - Find the best Nissan deals!

While not a comprehensive self-driving system, Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 brings us much closer to the day when vehicles can operate without human intervention. By leveraging existing technology and integrating it in more complex ways, the system enables true hands-free driving on designated highways when the route is pre-determined by the driver.

It requires the driver to remain vigilant, but it will do the driving itself for long stretches of highway. The system will also aid the driver in more complex tasks like figuring out a safe opportunity to pass a slower-moving vehicle.

The Nissan Ariya battery-electric crossover will be the first model on the U.S. market to offer Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0. You can research that model and others in the Shopping Guides section of the website.

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