Renault Nissan Boss Predicts Autonomous Cars For Sale By 2018 Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Jun, 05 2014 | 3 Comments

Experts at the Automotive Engineers World Congress last year predicted autonomous cars wouldn’t be seen in showrooms until at least 2025.

Just five months later, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that he envisioned self-driving cars in showrooms five years earlier than that - in 2020.

Now Mr Ghosn has revised his original prediction to 2018 - around four years from now - while speaking at a French Automobile Club event this week, provided legislative ‘red tape’ can be sorted by then.

"The problem isn't technology, it's legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around,” Mr Ghosn said, speaking with Automotive News.

“Especially [the question of] who is responsible, once there is no longer anyone inside.”

Legislation is slowly catching up, however, with recent changes to the United Nations Convention On Road Traffic allowing a driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel.

It’s not hard to see why the predicted ‘on-sale’ date for the world’s first fully-autonomous car is continually brought forward, as recent developments by Google and Volvo among others is fast-tracking the technology.

Google's Self-Driving car
Google's Self-Driving car

Volvo’s all-new XC90 SUV is due to be unveiled in September this year, with the Swedish carmaker calling it a “highly-autonomous” model.

Ford and Mercedes-Benz are also actively developing the technology, with the latter recently completed a fully-autonomous 100km drive in Germany.

Australian customers may have to wait beyond 2018, according to Mr Ghosn, as the Renault-Nissan boss predicts buyers in the "pioneer countries" of France, Japan and the US will see the technology first.

He may have overlooked Sweden, however, where Volvo has been making great strides of its own.

MORE: Renault news, Nissan news

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