Making a huge splash in the transportation industry, Nissan has just announced they will offer multiple driverless cars by 2020. The Japanese auto-maker has jumped into the race for “autonomous vehicles” by showing off a driverless prototype of the Nissan Leaf on a military base in Irvine, CA.
“In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle. Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.” – Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn
Google has long been the name associated with driverless car technology, but according to the press release, Nissan has been working on this innovative transportation technology for years alongside top universities MIT, Stanford, and Oxford.
The vehicles operate differently than the cars developed by Google, in that they utilize laser scanners and artificial intelligence, but do not require internet access.
Both companies however, have similar reasons for developing the technology as it aims at eliminating crashes, reducing carbon emissions, and even offering more mobility and freedom to the elderly.
“Six million crashes in the US per year cost $160 billion and rank as the top reason of death for four- to 34-year olds. And, 93% of accidents in the US are due to human error, typically due to inattention.” – Nissan press release
I love this project for the good that it can do for humanity in many different ways, and I hope that others follow suit and pursue humanity friendly business projects.