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Nissan CEO Ghosn at Autonomous Drive Wheel

Oct. 1 – Makuhari, Chiba – Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sat in the driver’s seat for a test of Nissan’s latest Autonomous Drive car prototype ahead of technology exhibition  CEATEC JAPAN 2013, which opened on Tuesday.

After not quite taking the wheel, CEO Ghosn spoke to the Global Media Center, reaffirming plans to introduce self-driving cars by 2020.

Global Media Center: What’s it like to “drive” an autonomous car?

The wheel of an autonomous LEAF

CEO Carlos Ghosn:

In fact, I didn’t drive anything. I was just sitting in the car. This test is proving to me that, first, we have advanced a lot  because I tested the prototypes two years ago, which were way less advanced than this one.

We’re going to get there even sooner than we think. What’s going to be left is only the reliability of the system.

I’m amazed at how smooth and how simple it looks even though there is a lot of technology behind the car. I’m very encouraged.

Global Media Center: If the goal is 2020, how far does this prototype take Nissan towards autonomous driving cars on the road?

CEO Ghosn:

2020, in my opinion, is going to be the latest because we are under pressure from a lot of competition.

Nissan CEO Ghosn's Autonomous Drive

Obviously, we’ve seen the reaction from the public. There is a lot of attention and thirst from everybody about the automated car.

The public sense that this is something of the future – something that they need and that they will use.

Now, the pressure is on us since we have launched this wave of attention about the technology.

The pressure is on us to make sure that we are bringing the first cars on the market.

It’s a fascinating experience and I think we have the talent and the engineering — and also the passion – to bring back the Nissan of technology through something meaningful. And this is meaningful.

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