Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn spoke during a tech gathering Thursday, saying the automaker is committed to manufacturing self-driving cars as he unveiled a series of initiatives designed for technological advancements. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ghosn said the Franco-Japanese group would adopt an autonomous system, which keeps a human in the loop if something goes wrong with the new technology while asserting that Renault-Nissan will begin deploying its Seamless Autonomous Mobility system (SAM) which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and technology developed by NASA.
According to a company statement, the new system will make "the autonomous vehicle smart enough to respond properly in problematic situations when it should not attempt to navigate a problem by itself," bringing itself to a halt to request human assistance when neccessary. Ghosn said the new system is part of efforts to speed up manufacturing of self-driving vehicles. "We invite others from a wide range of sectors - from tech partners to e-commerce companies, ride-hailing and car-sharing platforms to social entrepreneurs who can help us to develop testing in the development of new vehicles and services, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest technology and services that bring value to their lives," said Ghosn.
Maarten Sierhuis, who heads the company's research center in Silicon Valley, said that autonomous driving "is not a luxury, it's a necessity." Sierhuis asserted that this modern technology can solve numerous safety problems including the ability to pass a stalled vehicle while calculating the ability to avoid oncoming or parallel traffic. Renault-Nissan is among several automakers showcasing autonomous technology at the giant tech show, with some calling for these systems to become fully deployed within five years.
Renault-Nissan said it would begin testing vehicles designed for commercial use in designated zones in Japan this year in collaboration with the Japanese internet company DeNA. By 2020, the two firms hope to expand the tests of driverless technology to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Ghosn also said the next version of the Nissan Leaf electric car would be equipped with its ProPilot technology, allowing autonomous operation on a freeway while remaining in the same lane. This system was an option on the Serena minivan sold in Japan.