Nissan to Offer Autonomous Vehicles by 2020
August 28, 2013 3:01 PM
The plan is to make them widely available and affordable by that time
Nissan announced that it will offer
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
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