Print 55 comment(s) - last by Renski.. on Sep 3 at 4:08 PM

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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RE: No thanks
By tnicks on 8/29/2013 12:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
The courts decisions are that you have the right to freely operate and vehicle for the purpose of transportation. There is nothing that states that you have to be manually operating the vehicle for that right to still be granted.

View this in the context of seat belts. Most states require drivers to wear seat belts while operating a vehicle for passenger safety. Vehicles must be inspected and pass safety standards. Lights need to be used at night and in most states when it is raining as well.

There are tons of laws out there that restrict how you operate your vehicle already. So while you are given the right to transport freely in a vehicle, you are restricted in how that is accomplished. It is not a far stretch to see that applying to autonomous vehicles.

Do I think this will happen by 2020? No. Will it happen in my lifetime? Doubtful, but I'd be shocked if it did not eventually happen. The world's population continues to increase, traffic congestion continues to increase and impact not only the global economy but also the ecosystem, technological distractions are increasing, deaths are alarmingly frequent, and the technical ability to eliminate almost all of the negative aspects of human operation is quickly becoming reality. You're delusional if you can't see this is an inevitability.

RE: No thanks
By tnicks on 8/29/2013 12:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
I really should proof read before posting around here...

RE: No thanks
By Samus on 8/29/2013 12:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
You have a lot of faith in the automobile if you believe it will still be around in 100 years!

It's amazing they have lasted this long while progressing so slowly. Automobiles went virtually unchanged from 1900-1950, and they are still the most dangerous method of transportation. Safety has improved, as has reliability, quality, features, efficiency and handling, but aesthetics have always been all over the place, they are still incredibly dangerous to occupants and pedestrians, and cost of ownership has increased by orders of magnitude over the past century...not all of these problems will be solved by autonomous vehicles.

In 100 years, who knows how we'll travel, but it likely wont be in anything that resembles a automobile. I'm thinking tubes...

RE: No thanks
By Reclaimer77 on 8/29/2013 1:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
You have a lot of faith in the automobile if you believe it will still be around in 100 years!

Of course it will be, in some form.

In your own words transportation technology is progressing slowly. If you believe we'll all be zipped around in tubes in just two generations, you've been watching too much Futurama.

Plus our entire societal and geo-economic framework is based on cities and communities interconnected by interstates and highways and roads. And certainly will be for quite some time.

Perhaps if we weren't heading for a complete economic debt-fueled collapse there would be a chance the massively expensive undertakings you suggest could take place.

RE: No thanks
By Samus on 8/30/2013 2:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
I was kind of joking about the tubes, but realistically I don't see vehicles being used on roads the way they are now in 2113, driver or driverless. It's going to be a completely different type of vehicle. It could be minority report style, futurama style, or star trek style. Who knows. The difference between cars 100 years ago and cars now is technology. Eventually technology will render cars we know now useless in the same way technology has advanced cars to nearly a dead-end (the final technical step for cars is automation, which apparently will be here in 7 years.)

After cars become automated and are as high-tech as possible, newer transport methods will be the focus. Cars can only get so good before they are antiquated.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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