NISSAN WILL LISTEN TO THE YOUNG: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says the automaker will listen to the millennial generation's needs in future products. Image: AFP
YOKOHAMA, Japan - Nissan will have vehicles packed with autonomous driving technology by 2020 but whether people will be able to drive them on public roads is up to government regulators, chief executive Carlos Ghosn has said.
Many of the world's automakers, and companies outside the auto industry such as Google, are working on technologies that allow cars to navigate without human intervention.
Read: Google's self-driving car for public roads
Ghosn said good progress was being made toward Nissan's goal of delivering that technology by 2020.
"Our cars will be ready," he said.
The bigger hurdle was approval by regulators around the world, he told reporters at Yokohama headquarters.
CONNECTIVITY IS KEY
Ghosn alluded tomillenials, described as generation born between 1982 and early 2000's as having a major impact on the way automakers will build cars in the future. Millenials are the first generation brought up using digital technology.
Ghosn said autonomous driving was sure to be part of the cars of the future because market studies with consumers, especially younger drivers who will determine future cars, show that is what they want, along with connectivity and zero, or very low, exhaust emissions.
Connectivity meant accessing the internet, watching movies and duplicating in the vehicle the other experiences a person had at home or office, Ghosn added.
Read: Owning a Nissan Leaf in SA, top 5 pros and cons
On zero emissions, he reiterated that Nissan was banking on battery cars, rather than other zero-emissions technologies, for the near future. Nissan makes the Leaf electric car.
Ghosn said Nissan saw autonomous vehicles as adding to driving pleasure; a totally autonomous car was not at the centre of the automaker's plans.
The 61-year-old said: "The autonomous car forseen by Nissan will assist or enhance driving, Nissan may end up with a driverless car but that is not our goal. That is the car of the future but the buyer is more conservative.
"That makes us cautious."