Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of the car making alliance Renault Nissan is forecasting that by 2018 there would be autonomous cars on the streets, if the legislation doesn’t hinder them.
It looks like automobiles capable of driving themselves could be this century’s “Holy Grail”, as everyone, from Silicon Valley tech companies like Google to the luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz are busy testing the new generation “autonomous vehicles”.
“The problem isn’t technology, it’s legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around … and especially who is responsible once there is no longer anyone inside,” Ghosn said at a French Automobile Club event.
Renault is among the leaders of the pack, and so far has played with the Next 2 prototype that is based on the electric Zoe, which – at speeds below 30 km/h and provided there’s someone behind the wheel at all times – can let the driver relax and do the driving by itself, assisted by GPS positioning, cameras and sensors.
The Renault-Nissan CEO thinks the fully-fledged driverless cars could be seen in “pioneer countries” like France, Japan or the United States, as soon as 2018, with further wide availability in other European countries by the known 2020 timeframe.