Automaker Nissan announced Tuesday plans to have commercially-viable self-driving cars on the roads globally by 2020.
The “Autonomous Drive” vehicles allow for self-driving travel on streets or highways, can make lane changes and avoid collisions using current and next-generation technologies, Nissan said.
“We’ve announced that we’ll introduce an Autonomous Drive vehicle by 2020, and we said within two vehicle life cycles we’ll make that technology available across the entire portfolio, so what we’ve done is we built and fleshed out the two key pillars of Nissan Motor Co. – zero emissions and zero fatalities,” said the company’s executive vice president, Andy Palmer.
“Obviously, Autonomous Drive is really about a goal of zero fatalities,” he added.
In Japan, the technology uses laser scanners, “Around View Monitor” cameras and advanced vehicle intelligence and actuators to allow for multitasking while commuting, Nissan said.
Of the six million accidents that occur in the United States each year, with some 93% attributed to human error, according to Nissan.
The company is working with institutions such as MIT, Stanford, and the University of Tokyo on next-generation development.
“I think the vehicle has a very high potential,” said Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan’s executive vice president for research and development. “What (it) can do from now is accumulate more knowledge and negotiations with all traffic conditions, and the vehicle will become smarter and smarter, as the vehicle accumulates that knowledge and data base. So, this vehicle has big potential.”