Nissan claims to have cars produced with self driving technology (aka autonomous) by 2020.
That’s a bold claim that may well be true, however the people’s choice to buy and use them, will depend highly on government regulators, says chief executive Carlos Ghosn.
There are many carmakers outside the auto industry such as Google, who are working on technologies that allow cars to navigate themselves without human intervention.
Ghosn said good progress is being made toward Nissan’s goal of delivering that technology by 2020.
‘Our cars will be ready,’ he said.
The biggest hurdle for such vehicles becoming readily available to consumers is approval from regulators around the world, he told reporters at Yokohama headquarters.
Ghosn said autonomous driving was sure to be part the future because that is what consumers want, along with connectivity and zero, or very low, emissions.
Connectivity means accessing the internet, seeing movies and duplicating in the vehicle the other experiences a person has at home or in the office, Ghosn said.
On zero emissions, he reiterated that Nissan is banking on electric cars, rather than other zero-emissions technologies, for the near-term future.
Nissan makes the Leaf electric car.
Ghosn said Nissan sees autonomous vehicles as adding to driving pleasure, and a totally driver-less car is not at the centre of the carmaker’s plans.
Nissan may end up with a driverless car, but that was not the automaker’s goal, he said.
‘That is the car of the future,’ he said.
‘But the consumer is more conservative.
‘That makes us cautious.’