Nissan and Renault’s chairman has outlined its plans to have driverless cars ready to go in five years’ time.
Starting from next year, Carlos Ghosn wrote in a post on Linkedin, the brand will offer a “traffic jam pilot” feature that will let a car drive itself during heavy, stop-start traffic.
By 2018 the carmaker will introduce technology to allow a car to autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes – something already being planned by several other car brands.
He said: “The fact is most drivers do not enjoy commuting in grindingly slow, stop-and-go traffic. It’s the same thing with long trips along monotonously straight expressways.”
Driver safety was the main motivation behind driverless technologies research, Ghosn said.
“This technology holds the promise of virtually eliminating avoidable crashes.”
But convenience and improved mobility for the elderly were major motivations too, he added.
Nissan Renault partnered with NASA last year to develop these technologies already, and collaborates with Stanford, MIT, Oxford and Tokyo University.
Meanwhile, it has recently gone an internal IT overhaul to improve customer service and become more digital, using Salesforce to create a global, consolidated CRM that links between the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to the brand, dealership and directly to the customer to create a seamless user experience.