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Nissan Pushes Autonomous Drive Needle

August 27 – Irvine, Calif. – Autonomous Mode activated.

Nissan announced Tuesday plans to have commercially-viable Autonomous Drive vehicles on global roads by 2020.

AD vehicles allow autonomous travel on streets or highways, make lane changes and avoid collisions utilizing a number of current and next-generation technologies.

Executive Vice President Andy Palmer, at the Nissan 360 event in Irvine, California, said the automaker is again committed to bring such cutting-edge technologies to a larger market, as with the Nissan LEAF.

“We’ve announced that we’ll introduce an Autonomous Drive vehicle by 2020, and we said within two vehicle life cycles we’ll make that technology available across the entire entire portfolio, so what we’ve done is we built and fleshed out the two key pillars of Nissan Motor Co. – zero emissions and zero fatalities. Obviously, Autonomous Drive is really about a goal of zero fatalities,” Palmer said.

Nissan is already working on a proving ground in Japan for the technology, which uses laser scanners, Around View Monitor cameras, as well as advanced vehicle intelligence and actuators to potentially ease traffic and allow multi-tasking while commuting.

Some 6 million accidents occur in the U.S. alone each year, with some 93% attributed to human error.

In addition to safety, for the aged or those with disabilities, Autonomous Drive offers another benefit: true independence and mobility for all.

Nissan is working with institutions such as MIT, Stanford, and the University of Tokyo on next-generation development.

Executive Vice President for R&D Mitsuhiko Yamashita says the Autonomous Drive vehicle will only become more intelligent.

“I think the vehicle has a very high potential. What (it) can do from now is accumulate more knowledge and negotiations with all traffic conditions, and the vehicle will become smarter and smarter, as the vehicle accumulates that knowledge and data base. So, this vehicle has big potential,” said Yamashita.

Autonomous Drive vehicles will include models beyond the Nissan LEAF, and like the EV may see an era of “What If” become “What Is” in the near future.

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