Renault-Nissan To Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles Over Next 4 Years

2 years ago by Mark Kane 23

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Carlos Ghosn tests autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Carlos Ghosn tests autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Renault-Nissan Alliance announced plans to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology over the next four years globally.

That is, 10 mainstream, mass-market and affordable cars, including the LEAF, which is most often used as the autonomous development prototype by Nissan.

Renault-Nissan Alliance chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said at the Renault-Nissan Silicon Valley Research Center:

“Renault-Nissan Alliance is deeply committed to the twin goals of ‘zero emissions and zero fatalities. That’s why we are developing autonomous driving and connectivity for mass-market, mainstream vehicles on three continents.”

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Autonomous driving will be developed step by step beginning in 2016.

This year, Nissan and Renault will introduce “single-lane control” for highway driving or heavy traffic.

Then in 2018 Nissan will bring “multiple-lane control“, “which can autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes during highway driving.”

Finally in 2020, intersection autonomy” will be added, “which can navigate city intersections and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.

Carlos Ghosn closely follows the progress:

Carlos Ghosn surprised by capabilities of autonomous LEAF

Carlos Ghosn surprised by capabilities of autonomous LEAF

Renault-Nissan Silicon Valley Research Center

Renault-Nissan Silicon Valley Research Center

“Zero emission and zero fatalities Renault-Nissan is already the industry’s zero-emission leader by far. The Alliance has sold nearly 300,000 all-electric vehicles since the first Nissan LEAF was sold in the San Francisco Bay Area in December 2010.

Safety and efficiency of vehicles across the Renault-Nissan Alliance have increased dramatically. For instance, fatal and serious injuries in Nissan vehicles in Japan decreased 61 percent in 20 years; fatal and serious injuries in Renault vehicles in France decreased 80 percent in 15 years.

Autonomous drive is expected to help further reduce driver error, which is responsible for up to 90 percent of all fatalities.

The year 2016 will mark the debut of vehicles with “single-lane control,” a feature that allows cars to drive autonomously on highways, including in heavy, stop-and-go traffic. In 2018, Renault-Nissan will launch vehicles with “multiple-lane control,” which can autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes during highway driving. And 2020 will see the launch of “intersection autonomy,” which can navigate city intersections and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype on smartphone

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype on smartphone

Later this year the Alliance will launch a new automotive app for mobile devices, which allows remote interaction with your car. Next year, it will launch the first “Alliance Multimedia System,” providing new multimedia and navigation features, as well as improved smartphone integration and wireless map updates. In 2018, the Alliance Connectivity & Internet of Things platform will support the new Virtual Personal Assistant feature for individual and business customers.

All of the Alliance’s autonomous drive technology will be available at the option of the driver.

Convergence for the win

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

In 2014, Renault-Nissan “converged” both companies’ engineering organizations. Engineers at Renault and Nissan work together as one team to reduce duplication in the development of next-generation technologies. The technology Renault and Nissan engineers develop together is then available for each company and all brands to use where it makes sense for consumers.

In other words, Renault-Nissan engineers have developed a “technology tool kit,” including hardware and software applications. Product teams from Renault, Nissan, Infiniti and other Alliance brands may select those applications for their models, where appropriate. By partnering on advanced research and development, Renault and Nissan are able to work more efficiently, with less cost, and thereby deliver higher value vehicles to their customers.

Renault-Nissan has a research and development budget of about US$5 billion. The world’s fourth largest car group, which sells one in 10 cars globally, has research centers in Atsugi, Japan; Guyancourt, France; Farmington Hills, Michigan; and Sunnyvale, California. Renault-Nissan also has large engineering centers in India, Brazil, Romania, Turkey and China, among others.

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

Autonomous Nissan LEAF prototype

The Alliance also announced today the hiring of technology executive Ogi Redzic to lead the global car group’s connected car initiative as Alliance senior vice president, Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services.

Redzic joins Renault-Nissan after positions at Nokia, NAVTEQ, Motorola, and at wireless communication startup cyberPIXIE. He most recently served as senior vice president, Automotive at Nokia HERE, where he led the Automotive Business Group. Redzic, whose new role is effective immediately, will be based in Paris and oversee teams in France and Japan.”

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23 responses to "Renault-Nissan To Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles Over Next 4 Years"

  1. evcarnut says:

    If they build the IDS prototype with a long range battery ., Things will get very interesting………

  2. Speculawyer says:

    Ghosn’s eyebrows are hilarious.

    1. kdawg says:

      I LOL’d at the caption “Carlos Ghosn surprised by capabilities of autonomous LEAF”. I’m pretty sure that’s Ghosn’s resting b!tch face (pardon my French).

      1. RexxSee says:

        There is French in your sentence??

        1. kdawg says:

          I hope there’s sarcasm in yours.

  3. MDEV says:

    Can we have full autonomous cars in US with the freeway lines fading and disappearing in many states due a lack of maintenance?

    1. KC says:

      By crowd-sourcing! I imagine it can be implemented as a self-learning system (like Tesla?). When the lanes on GPS map and the lines on the road don’t match, it will ask driver to take control. The driver’s actions are recorded, and the lane information ultimately gets back into the GPS map. With enough data points and some fuzzy logic based on confidence level will eventually let the car drive itself even without lines.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Is civilian GPS really accurate enough to allow a car to figure out where the edge of the road is?

        At least in theory, if the software and the sensors are sophisticated enough, the expert system should be able to figure out where the lanes are just as well as the average driver can. If we humans can tell where the lanes are just by looking, then the car’s “brain” should be able to, too.

        (Of course in practice, our brains don’t process information like computers do, so even at best there won’t be 100% overlap between how well we can see everything vs. how the car “sees” everything. But hopefully autonomous car designers can improve the tech to the point where cars can “see” the lanes about as well as we can, under most circumstances, and better than we can in some cases.)

  4. Get Real says:

    Yep, Tesla has shown the way here too. Using excellent connectivity and software plus Big-Data is pointing the way.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Get real, I heard about Cadillac lane centering long before I heard about Tesla autopilot. If Tesla is leading the way it’s in taking dangerous chances with unproven technology.

      1. Rob says:

        Tesla is leading, autopilot can read and obey speed limit signs, change lanes, warn unsafe of unsafe lane changes, cruise control with car following and obstacle avoidance. Many have one or two features, but nobody else has all of them. I have heard from a friend with Model X it is a little scary for first drivers in new areas since little things like stop signs are not always in the system. Some may remember google maps telling you to turn left on divided highways with no exit in sight.

  5. Speculawyer says:

    Can we comment on the two previous articles?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It is just the Fiat 500e sales recap piece that seems to be ‘non-functional’, we could probably troubleshoot … but as the stories after it are all working as intended, we are just too lazy, (=

      1. Speculawyer says:

        That’s the one I want to comment on . . . it is pretty amazing that 25% of the Fiat 500 cars are 500e cars! Is any other model like that (Ford Focus, no way. Golf/eGolf, no way. Smart/SmartED . . . maybe.)

        And amazing considering the Sergio told people not to buy it! 😉

        1. kdawg says:

          Reverse psychology?

      2. C’mon Jay…..”we are just too lazy, (=”, if you got time for starbucks, you got time to fix the f— ups! ;^)

  6. Ian says:

    Nissans infamous distraction teqnique…still in shock that the Bolt is ready. How about 1 long range BEV instead.

    1. William says:

      Your bait and switch theory to look away from the Bolt and its 200 mi. range is spot on.With deliveries due out in late 2016 the leaf may need some months just to catch up in range and all the trimmings.

  7. DonC says:

    Elon Musk has said the Model S is already a better driver than most human drivers! Nissan is SO FAR behind. Oh wait, that’s Elon Musk. Nevermind.

    Actually this is great. Helping drivers and avoiding accidents is a huge deal. Wish Nissan the best of luck in getting there.

  8. Vinny says:

    I have wondered how these systems handle wildlife in the road? Deer are tough to predict, sometimes people run off the road to avoid them and do more damage than if they had hit the deer. How well do these systems react to road kill? For example what size dead critter will it simply run over instead of swerving around? Will it swerve around large, deep potholes or simply hit them? Not all the roads out there are nice clear, smooth pavement.

    1. William says:

      Interesting that moving boulders and earthquake broken and separated overpasses have claimed lives here in CalEVfornia. They can happen along with other road hazards. This adoption may need a lot of R & D to be safer all around.

    1. kdawg says:

      I count 11 just for the US with a 12th on the way when the CT6 arrives. I’m sure there are at least 2 other hybrids in the world under other brands.