Renault-Nissan Plans Autonomous Drive Technology Assault For The Next 4 Years
Like electric vehicles, autonomous driving technology has grown quite impressively since its initial introduction to the world. Now every manufacturer is in a hurry to develop and produce the next best level of autonomous technology. Now Renault-Nissan has announced that it is about to flood the market in full force, promising to hit a goal of launching more than ten different vehicles with autonomous capabilities in the next four years, with the primary markets being the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China.
The goal is to include this technology with mainstream cars without increasing the price to the point that the cars are unaffordable. Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan’s chairman and CEO said, “Renault-Nissan Alliance is deeply committed to the twin goals of ’zero emissions and zero fatalities. That’s why we are developing autonomous driving and connectivity for mass-market, mainstream vehicles on three continents.”
Reducing Fatalities and Emissions has been a huge success for the Alliance so far, with almost 300,000 all electric vehicles sold in the last six years, and a drastic drop in fatal and serious accidents in Nissan and Renault vehicles. Sometime this year, the alliance plans to improve on that success by introducing “single-lane” control – an autonomous feature that should bring autonomous highway driving to the masses.
The technology will allow cars to navigate within one lane and automatically steer around bends, while controlling the throttle and brakes automatically to accommodate changes in traffic. Come 2018, “multiple-lane control” should allow Renault and Nissan cars to change lanes and negotiate traffic even better. One 2020 hits, the alliance plans to debut “intersection autonomy” that will allow properly equipped cars to navigate through cities and heavy traffic without the need for driver input.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why it matters
In addition to all of this autonomous development, and the promises to bring it sooner than later, Renault-Nissan also announced the future release of a new mobile app. The mobile app will allow remote interaction with properly equipped cars. In 2017, it will build on that system further and launch an “Alliance Multimedia System,” which will provide better smartphone integration, and map updates. In 2018, the Alliance plans to support a new “Virtual Assistant” feature with its Alliance Connectivity and Internet of Things platform.
All of this news from the Renault-Nissan alliance is great, but I’m still a little skeptical. That technology will be great to have, but rushing such a thing could lead to more problems than gains, if it isn’t perfected before it is released. I understand the want to be the first to introduce this technology to mass-market cars, but it seems to me that the alliance is aiming to have fully autonomous cars a bit too soon. There are sure to be security flaws that have yet to be realized, which could bring serious danger if left unchecked. All this autonomous technology will run off of various sensors and cameras. A smart hacker with the ability to disrupt these sensors could easily cause a major problem for a lot of cars at once if they are running in autonomous mode. Just food for thought, but a very real potential for disaster.