More reports on: Automotive

Nissan's autonomous cars to be road-ready by 2020

18 May 2015

Nissan said it would have developed road-ready autonomous cars by 2020.

Speaking to reporters at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the company's self-driving technology would be functional and ready by 2020.

However, the Associated Press, reports the chance to drive them down city streets depended on government regulators -- the biggest hurdle in autonomous vehicle research and development.

According to Ghosn good progress was being made in reaching this goal, and the company's cars ''will be ready."

Self-driving cars and autonomous features are under development at  several tech companies with Google being one of the most well-known to be exploring this technology through its self-driving car project.

Following a protracted test phase, the tech giant revealed last week that its prototype autonomous vehicles would be tested on public roads over summer.

Additionally, Tesla had been working on automatic turn and passing functions in its Model S Sedan series. One issue regulators faced was the problem of liability in the event of the self-driving cars getting involved in a collision.

Nissan was not pursuing the same goal as Google, since the company's focus was on driver assistance and enhancement rather than the removal of control from a typical driver.

According to Ghosn, Nissan might end up with a driverless car, but that was not the automaker's aim.

On a different issue Ghosn, said there was no immediate need to change the structure of the two carmakers' alliance, after the French government raised its voting rights in Renault.

''You need to have a strong reason, a strong strategic reason or a strong operational reason, to make the change,'' Ghosn said.

Ghosn last month failed to block a French law that provided double-voting rights for long-term shareholders. He had earlier said there was concern that the law could affect the balance of the 16-year-old Renault-Nissan alliance.

He added, the alliance was  ''very stable,'' and the two companies were ''extremely cautious'' in ensuring operations were not affected by the changes.

The French government and Nissan each owned 15 per cent of Renault and while the  government's share came with voting rights, Nissan held no voting rights in its French partner.

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