The era of the robo-car?! Test riding a Skyline hybrid with ProPILOT 2.0
To experience self-driving cars (also called “autonomous vehicles” or “robo-cars”), I test-rode a Nissan Skyline and a Tesla Model 3.
Put loosely, it felt like Nissan’s perspective is “sociality” while Tesla’s is “individuality.”
First, a report on the Nissan Skyline
The Nissan system, rather than delivering fun to the driver, is designed with a focus on “sociality” that values cooperation with the road and surrounding vehicles.
Hmm, first of all… The machine that monitors the driver became angry multiple times, saying, “Hey! Keep your eyes on the road!”
Just glancing at the scenery means punishment: the automated driving is canceled. Humans beings, watched over by machines, must stare only ahead…
The ProPILOT that you see in the commercials is a driving support system that accelerates, brakes, and steers only on highways and other roads that are exclusively for motor vehicles. In other words, autonomous driving is only supported on roads that Nissan chooses! This makes me want to shout, “What?!” I had to travel all the way to the Bayshore Route just to try this out!🤣
The Skyline hybrid with ProPILOT 2.0 that I tested also links to the navigation system and supports hands-off control (as displayed by Kimura Takuya in the commercials). Or… this is what they say it supports, but the system is too scared to change lanes. Even when there are no cars 600 m behind, it will not change lanes.
In the area around Tokyo, ordinary roads are not supported by ProPILOT, and neither is the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway. Support is available only for the straight line of the Bayshore Route. What a disappointment. Okinawa support is also, it seems, something far in the future. Boo-hoo…
Also, as someone who is used to left-hand drive, I don’t like where robo-cars situate themselves in the lane. It feels like I’m too close to the highway guardrail. It doesn’t work for me. When I asked if the vehicle could be adjusted to my habits, I was told, “We can’t do that because it will also permit errors.” I guess the robo-car can only be 100% serious. It can’t be a robo-car with a bit of a wild streak!
Also, I don’t understand why you have to turn on the navigation system to use ProPILOT. I want to drive freely.
Also, the “millimeter-wave radars” (small sensors that can measure the distance, horizontal angle, and relative velocity to detected objects using short-length radio waves) can look two units head. This is convenient during traffic jams or when driving around the city. However, the feature is only supported for straight-line situations. It’s bothersome how automated turning is not available for intersections.
As for the price, the ordinary Skyline, various expenses included, is slightly under ¥3 million. This ProPILOT 2.0 version costs about ¥7 million. In that case, I am tempted to say, “Drive the car yourself and get a CIMA instead.”
However, because the ProPILOT Skyline was stubborn about not giving the steering wheel position over to me, I also did not get sleepy.
Conclusion: I look forward to great improvements in the future.