Photo/IllutrationNissan Motor Co.’s new Skyline (Kazutaka Eguchi)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

YOKOHAMA--Nissan Motor Co. unveiled a hybrid version of its new Skyline premium sedan here on July 16 that allows hands-free driving in single lanes on expressways.

The gas-electric Skyline is the first car with such capability to be offered by a Japanese car company, Nissan said.

The latest model, the 13th generation of Skyline, will be introduced in September. The first model was rolled out in 1957.

The new sedan will also bear Nissan’s emblem, five years after the current model hit the market with an emblem of Nissan's Infiniti brand.

The vehicle’s driver assistance system allows hands-free driving when drivers maintain a certain speed that they set in advance and keep driving without changing lanes.

In this mode, the system automatically handles the car's steering, acceleration and braking on behalf of drivers.

The car’s infrared camera constantly monitors whether the driver’s attention is on the road when the auto driving mode is on.

If the system detects drivers taking their eyes off the road or closing them, an alarm sounds. The car will make an emergency stop if the driver fails to respond to the alert.

When the vehicle approaches a fork in the road or a slower vehicle, drivers can ask it to change lanes by tapping the monitor. Drivers can change lanes by putting both hands back on the steering wheel and pressing a switch nearby.

Though the new Skyline comes in hybrid and gas versions, only the hybrid has the hands-free driving feature.

The hybrid is priced at 5.47 million yen ($50,648) and 6.33 million yen, including consumption tax. The gasoline-powered car sells between 4.27 million yen and 5.52 million yen, including consumption tax.