Nissan’s premium division is planning to keep up with the technological-pace by adding highway self-driving features for most of its new models.
In order to proper compete with its more established premium rivals, such as BMW and Mercedes, Infiniti’s models need a technological boost and expanding the self-driving features throughout its lineup seems like the next logical step. The brand is already offering a semi-automated system for driving on highways above 60 km/h, but only for the Q50 sedan. “This will be rolled out as we are launching new vehicles one by one,” Roland Krueger, Infiniti’s president, told Reuters during the Global Automotive Forum summit in Chongqing, China.
Nissan is already looking beyond such semi-autonomous techs and it plans to further develop more advanced systems, towards the ultimate goal of deploying fully driverless cars. However, until then, Krueger said there were more to be done, especially improving the infrastructure and changing the regulations.
Infiniti aims to launch an accelerator in Beijing and Shanghai to encourage start-ups to develop smart transportation systems. The automaker is already collaborating with such a start-up in Hong Kong, which created an application to monitor open parking spaces, that could potentially lead to driverless cars being able to guide themselves to an available parking space.
There is still a lot of growth room for Infinity, in terms of global sales. The brand delivered around 18,000 vehicles last month, an increase of 3 percent over May 2015, while it sold about 91,000 units globally in the first five months of the year. In China, Nissan’s unit is on a downward slope, with a 9 percent drop in May (3,600 vehicles) and a 5 percent slip this year so far (15,000 units.)