Nissan Aims to Release Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

Aug 29, 2013
Yoshiro Tsuruhara, Nikkei Automotive Technology
A test autonomous vehicle shown at the Nissan 360 event is based on the Leaf electric vehicle.
A test autonomous vehicle shown at the Nissan 360 event is based on the Leaf electric vehicle.
[Click to enlarge image]
A rear view of the test vehicle
A rear view of the test vehicle
[Click to enlarge image]

Nissan Motor Co Ltd announced that it will employ its autonomous driving technologies for its vehicles until 2020.

Nissan also announced that it is currently constructing a test course for the development of autonomous vehicles in Japan. The company aims to adopt the technologies for a variety of vehicle types during two fully-remodeling cycles.

In the aim of developing the autonomous driving technologies, Nissan is in cooperation with universities and research institutes in and outside Japan such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the University of Oxford and the University of Tokyo. And the company plans to tie up with other research institutes and venture firms around the globe for the joint research.

The test course for the development of autonomous vehicles is scheduled to be completed within fiscal 2014. The course will be made by replicating an actual town and used for safety tests that cannot be conducted on public roads. Nissan intends to set reasonable prices for its autonomous cars.

Nissan showed various potentials of the autonomous driving technologies at the Nissan 360 event in Irvine, Calif, the US. At the event, the company used the Leaf electric vehicle (EV) equipped with laser scanners, Around View Monitor cameras, advanced vehicle intelligence and actuators and demonstrated that it can skillfully cope with complicated driving situations.

Nissan's autonomous driving technologies are based on the philosophy that that a vehicle should have all the information it needs and does not depend only on information from external sources.

The autonomous driving technologies shown at the Nissan 360 enables a vehicle to automatically keep driving in a lane, change lanes, avoid obstacles, etc at the time of driving on an expressway without detailed map data. With its standard car navigation system, the vehicle knows where to make a turn to go to the destination.