Self-Driving Cars by 2020, say Nissan

Even though it sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie, Nissan is determined to get self-driving cars on our roads by 2020…

The self-driving technology that Nissan has been working on in collaboration with NASA will be ready to hit the streets in 2020, apparently.

Despite Google threatening to launch driverless cars on our roads as soon as this summer, Nissan is taking a more gradual approach to the technology.

From next year, however, drivers will be able to get their hands on certain Nissan vehicles that provide a totally new driving experience in terms of automation.

For example, a traffic jam pilot function will allow the driver to benefit from a range of sensors, cameras and lasers that are designed to control the fuel, brakes and even steering in slow-moving or stationary traffic situations.

This technology will be taken a step further in 2018 when Nissan introduce cars that can change lanes and avoid obstacles on their own. The features will initially be offered on the firm’s bigger sedans and crossovers, but is expected to trickle down through the Nissan range going forward.

The pinnacle of it all will be Nissan’s first-ever completely autonomous car, which people can start driving in 2020, providing the necessary legal framework is satisfied and consumers are ready to accept it.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn explained at a conference held in Yokohama, Japan that rules and regulations present the biggest barriers to the introduction of self-driving cars.

At present, self-driving cars are permitted in several US states, including Nevada and California, and in a handful of European countries such as the UK and France.

Before self-driving cars become a standard feature on the automotive landscape, countries need to invest in infrastructure improvements like lane markings and proper signs to ensure their successful operation.

Nissan doesn’t intend to go down the standalone autonomous car route like Google and will instead offer the technology as an optional extra or as standard on certain models.

Ghosn believes that self-driving cars will make our roads a safer place by alleviating the burdens of driving on long journeys, but aren’t being introduced to replace the drive altogether.

Why do you think? Are autonomous cars just another gimmick or a potential automotive game-changer? We’d love to hear your thoughts below…

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