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The plan is to make them widely available and affordable by that time

Nissan announced that it will offer autonomous vehicles that will have broad availability and an affordable price by 2020.

Nissan's plan is to deliver several vehicle models with its Autonomous Drive technology by the end of this decade, and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will push hard to make sure that goal is met. 

“In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle,” Ghosn said. “Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.”

Nissan is hoping for "availability across the model range within two vehicle generations."

Nissan is already working hard toward its goal. The automaker has been working with several colleges such as MIT, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Oxford, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, and almost every major university in Japan to develop the autonomous technology. 

In addition, Nissan is working on an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Japan, which should be completed next year. 

Back in February, Nissan announced its Silicon Valley research center for autonomous vehicles. The new facility is called the Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley (NRC-SV), and it will use partnerships with educational institutions and companies to work on projects for new vehicle technologies.

Nissan's autonomous vehicle technology will be based off of its current Safety Shield tech, which monitors a 360-degree view around a vehicle for risks and offers warnings to the driver. It will even respond to the situation if necessary. 

We may have to wait until 2020 for Nissan's autonomous vehicles, but in the meantime, the automaker is making strides in the electric vehicle industry. For instance, it announced that it will offer a new battery design for the all-electric Leaf in April 2014 if current testing goes well. The new design aims to help the Leaf's battery from depleting under severe weather conditions (mainly heat). 

Nissan has seen a surge in Leaf sales this year, and updating its battery design can only help its cause. In July, it was reported that Nissan is now selling approximately 2,000 Leaf electric vehicles each month (about four times the volume it was selling about a year ago). To meet this new demand, Nissan is slowly ramping up production of the Leaf at its manufacturing facility in Tennessee.

Source: Nissan News



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Liability
By bah12 on 8/28/2013 4:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder where the legal issues will hammer out regarding liability. If there is an at fault accident would the now co-pilot be liable? Clearly it would be hard to hold liable a passenger of car like this during auto-mode operation.




RE: Liability
By spaced_ on 8/28/2013 5:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
I assume initially it would be much the same as using adaptive cruise-control. If you're in an accident and your car breaks the road rules the person in the driver's seat will be at fault. Presumably the driver would have the chance to disengage.

Until a majority of the population owned autonomous vehicles and they're well and truly real-world tested over many years there likely won't be a push for legal change in that respect.


RE: Liability
By M'n'M on 8/28/2013 5:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're in an accident and your car breaks the road rules the person in the driver's seat will be at fault.

If you are going to be required to constantly monitor the vehicle, what's the incentive to buy an autonomous car ? I'd expect the car to drive itself. If it goes wrong, I expect our present legal system to allow the wronged parties to sue the manufacturer (as well as the driver and the guy who last rotated the tires and his cat).

Frankly I don't want one but there are certainly upsides for impaired people, be they blind or blind drunk.


RE: Liability
By Reclaimer77 on 8/28/2013 5:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's the only logical assumption. You aren't going to be able to sue the manufacturer for your inattention. They aren't going to guarantee a 100% foolproof system.

I just love whenever this subject comes up, people make comments about sleeping on the way to work or whatever. Well you know what? If your car perpetrates an accident while you're sleeping behind the wheel, prepare to have the living sh*t sued out of you. And rightfully so. Because you ARE at fault.


RE: Liability
By sorry dog on 8/29/2013 5:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
That's the rub. If it isn't foolproof enough to allow me to read a book or take a nap, then I don't want it. I'd rather just drive.

This is the exact argument going on in aviation where automation is being encouraged to be point that pilots are losing their hand flying skills. When the automation fails then pilots are expected to pick up the slack and maintain safety, but it turns out that people really aren't that great at being systems monitors. It's very likely that the Asiana crash report is going to draw more attention to this situation.


RE: Liability
By spaced_ on 8/28/2013 6:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
There's always public transport. If you don't have any nearby, move to a city that does.

Then your dreams of sleeping, posting random comments on facebook or playing candy crush on the way to work can come true.

:)


RE: Liability
By marvdmartian on 8/29/2013 7:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I mean, if I can't put the cruise control on in my motor home, then go back to the kitchen to make a sandwich....

Yes, that (allegely) HAS happened!

Honestly, they should bring this in to the San Francisco Bay are first. I swear, a drunken sailor can drive better than any of those people can! At the worst, an autonomous car can't do any WORSE than they do!!


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