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Car and Driver: Nissan’s Autonomous Plan: 10 New Cars With Self-Driving Tech by 2020


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Renault-Nissan to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous d


Very few cars under $30,000 have a full complement of automated driver assists, and even fewer offer semi-autonomous driving. Now Nissan and business partner Renault say they’ll offer more than 10 cars with a range of autonomous features within the next four years, specifically “mainstream, mass-market cars at affordable prices.”



The year 2020 is a big deal for Nissan, which has stated since 2013 that it would market its first fully autonomous car at that time. That’s not likely to happen, what with regulators, insurance companies, and the industry’s quiet admission that radar, laser, ultrasound, and visual cameras are not even close to being fail-safe. But improvements are coming faster than new iPhones, and so Nissan and Renault have updated their plans.


For one, they’ve hired former Nokia HERE executive Ogi Redzic, who helped lead that company’s high-definition mapping software that claims lane accuracy down to 10 centimeters and is used on a number of autonomous car prototypes, to head up anything and everything digitized, connected, mobile, and app-ified within the Franco-Japanese alliance. That would include making a giant company with a $5 billion R&D budget act with a “startup mindset,” the corporate buzzword that justifies hiring pricey tech executives like Redzic.


This year, Nissan and Renault say they’ll launch several cars with semi-autonomous capability on highways, including stop-and-go driving. By 2018, these same features will be able to automatically change lanes and swerve to avoid road hazards. Then, to properly start the next decade, their cars will navigate city traffic and intersections without any driver inputs.


Whether or not Versa Note drivers will see these technologies along with Maxima and Infiniti drivers is another thing. The word “affordable” is a relative adjective, and so far, Honda has already beaten Nissan to the punch with semi-autonomous controls available on the base Accord LX, which stickers for less than $25,000.


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