Nissan-Renault boss says Google driverless-car predictions are not feasible


Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, which began this week (March 3, 2015), Nissan and Renault boss, Carlos Ghosn, has derided Google’s claims that they will have a completely driverless car ready by 2020. Instead he pointed to the timeline for the rollout of the Nissan-Renault alliance’s much-anticipated Autonomous Drive features as a more viable path to autonomy.

All the Nissan-Renault features planned between now and 2020 will still require a human at the wheel, but will slowly build in more and more autonomous capability, that can be turned on or off by the driver. In response to Google’s claims that they will have fully autonomous – driverless – vehicle ready for public use within the same timeframe Ghosn said: “We don’t think it’s feasible. After we’ve introduced our autonomous technology, then comes driverless cars. But they’re in the long-term – in ten years plus.”

Traffic Jam Autonomous Drive technology will be available in both Nissan and Renault cars from 2016. This will enable cars to stop and start and stay within their lane completely automatically in slow-moving traffic. By 2018 Ghosn anticipates Highway Autonomous Drive being added to the features available, which will enable cars to move autonomously at higher speeds on freeways, within their own lane, and also enable them to change lanes when the driver decides to do so. The roll out will be complete by 2020, when a City Autonomous Drive will be added to help drivers navigate around urban areas.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).