Self-Driving Cars Still A Decade Away: Ghosn Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Apr, 25 2015 | 0 Comments

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has had another crack at predicting when the self-driven car will be available to the public.

Mr Ghosn is a supporter of the technology, but Renault-Nissan fans may have already become wary of his predictions as to when it will arrive.

In 2013, the CEO said 2020 would be the likely time the public would be able to buy an autonomous car.

Mr Ghosn revised that to 2018 around ten months later, before a report six weeks after that prediction suggested the CEO had changed his tune - saying semi-autonomous cars would be available by 2018 rather than fully-autonomous.

And this week, a new prediction from Mr Ghosn during a question and answer session pushes the arrival date for a fully-autonomous car out to 2025.

Ghosn said the Renault-Nissan group still plans to “have a complete package of autonomous drive technologies on multiple models” by 2020, but the road to cars that require no driver will “come in waves, a feature at a time”.

From late next year, the carmakers plan to offer a new Traffic Jam Pilot feature to their customers, allowing fully-autonomous operation in heavy, stop/start city traffic.

Nissan and Renault models will be able to change lanes without the driver’s assistance by 2018, and a self-navigating car is scheduled to arrive by 2020.

Mr Ghosn said a fully-autonomous car could collect children from school with no driver on board, or ferry an ill patient to a doctor’s surgery, but this technology was “much further into the future - at least a decade away”.

Besides elements of technology that are yet to be perfected, Ghosn added regulatory, legal and security issues “must be resolved first”.

Ghosn moved to reassure driving enthusiasts that Renault-Nissan was not trying to take their fun away, saying “our focus is on eliminating the drudgery of driving, not the joy of driving”.

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