Ghosn: First Renault-Nissan Autonomous Vehicles Could Hit Roads In US, France And Japan In 2018

JUN 20 2014 BY MARK KANE 10

Renault NEXT TWO

Renault NEXT TWO

Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault-Nissan, recently confirmed the automaker’s previous announcement that the first autonomous Renault-Nissan vehicles could hit the roads in 2018.

But in 2018, it will not be fully autonomous vehicles, which could go anywhere, but rather vehicles with a set of features to drive autonomously at low speed, or at higher speed on the highway, parking etc.

Besides developing technical solutions, the automotive industry is looking at legislation.

Carlos Ghosn stated at a French Automobile Club event:

“The problem isn’t technology, it’s legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around … and especially who is responsible once there is no longer anyone inside.”

Autonomous Nissan LEAF

Autonomous Nissan LEAF

Ghosn says that the pioneer countries in which we will first see autonomous vehicles on larger scale will be France, Japan and the United States. But this is still 4 years out and commercialization across Europe could start in 2020.

“An amendment to United Nations rules agreed earlier this year would let drivers take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars. The change was pushed by Germany, Italy and France, whose high-end carmakers believe they are ready to zoom past U.S. tech pioneers to bring the first vehicles to market.”

“Provided the amendment clears all bureaucratic hurdles, it would allow a car to drive itself, as long as the system “can be overridden or switched off by the driver”. A driver must be present and able to take the wheel at any time.”

Renault earlier this year presented a prototype of autonomous ZOE, which was called NEXT TWO.  The autonomous feature on this vehicle could free up two hours of time a day, thus allowing the driver to do something other than driving (like reading InsideEVs while going to work).

NEXT TWO can, in autonomous mode, go up to 30 km/h (19 mph) in a congested city or faster on the highway where the driving situation is much simpler and the road is better marked. Similar solution were  applied to the Nissan LEAF too.

Source: Reuters

Renault NEXT TWO

Renault NEXT TWO

Categories: Nissan, Renault

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10 Comments on "Ghosn: First Renault-Nissan Autonomous Vehicles Could Hit Roads In US, France And Japan In 2018"

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I like how the leaf has a tinted windshield. So it dosent scare anyone maybe?

Notice how this color is not actually sold. Amazing, but you cannot buy a green Zoe!

I can see why. It’s not a particularly flattering color for the Zoe…

Sad thing, I would have gotten this color if I could. Now I’m stuck with boring medium grey 🙁

The plan that works for autonomous drive is to allow takeovers in the express lanes. California, as I am sure other states as well, is instituting express commuter lanes that are separated from the normal traffic, and have limited entry and exit points. These lanes are well marked, avoid mixing traffic with other cars, and would show off the most valuable aspect of autonomous drive, the ability to smooth out traffic flows and reduce intracar spacing.

…and people constantly ignore the striping and use them anyway… 😉

Is that right? When I saw it done in LA, it didn’t look like something you wanted to cross. There were barriers. Short, but barriers.

I would rather have a law that says that the car should be allowed to intervene WHEN the human make an error…

I would rather trust my life in a machine that is way more accurate than a lazy, tired, and easily distracted human being.

First build a car I can drive 150-200 miles at 55 mph, then worry about it driving itself.

Great stuff. Say to my wife that it will be great to sit in a car and read the paper and drink coffee and watch movies while traveling 12 hours to Chicago. BUT saving 30,000 fatalities a year is a real possibility and insurance rates would plummet, easily paying for the technology. It is happening a lot faster than I expected. I guess technically it is a matter of software, since there are a range of detection technologies available. Probably need some tracking method on roadways for redundancy since GPS is not 100%. Need intelligent “road signs” transmitting data to cars on road conditions, speed limits, accidents, detours, speed reductions for weather etc. Fascinating to be alive today.