Self-driving cars will hit the streets sooner than you think and Renault and Nissan have revealed they plan to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology in the next four years.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance – the world’s fourth largest car group – said the technology will be installed on mainstream, mass-market cars at affordable prices.
The new cars will launch in Europe, the US, Japan and China between now and 2020.
The car group has hired former Nokia executive Ogi Redzic to oversee connectivity and connected car services.
The Alliance says it 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 is the watchword driving Renault and Nissan’s 2020 vision
The key word behind the self-drive technology is safety. Fatal and serious injuries in Nissan vehicles in Japan decreased 61pc in 20 years and fatal and serious injuries in Renault vehicles in France decreased 80pc in 15 years.
Autonomous drive is expected to help further reduce driver error, which is responsible for up to 90pc of all fatalities.
“Renault-Nissan Alliance is deeply committed to the twin goals of zero emissions and zero fatalities,” Renault-Nissan Alliance chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said at the Renault-Nissan Silicon Valley Research Center.
“That’s why we are developing autonomous driving and connectivity for mass-market, mainstream vehicles on three continents.”
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 will allow vehicles to navigate city intersections and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.
Later this year, the Alliance will launch a new automotive app for mobile devices, which will allow 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.
And, in 2018, its connectivity and internet of things platform will support the new virtual personal assistant feature for individual and business users.
Renault image via Shutterstock