Nissan is well on its way to actually getting self-driving vehicles on the road. Their Nissan Leaf, an electric car, is being equipped with the sensors that will make autonomous driving possible, and is set to hit the Japanese market by the end of next year.
Three cars have already been upgraded with the new technology, called Nissan Intelligent Driving.
AutoBlog’s Danny King reports that nearly 400 sensors will enable the cars to pass other cars, merge on and off of highways, and change lanes.
Nissan wants to get these cars on the road by 2020, and so have partnered with some prestigious institutions like Oxford, MIT, and Stanford to evaluate and improve the technology.
CEO Carlos Ghosn laments that the vehicles may not be available in America because of governmental red tape. King points out that Tesla has also been working on honing their self-driving vehicles and that their models already include lane-changing, automatic emergency steering, and side collision warning. Tesla has also stated that it would like to get autonomous vehicles on the road by 2018.
Many car companies in the US already have programs that parallel park for you, or at least assist with the process, so self-driving vehicles are clearly superior in both convenience and safety. The US government moves slowly, though, so it may be awhile before we see any policy change on the subject.