Nissan Going Autonomous by 2022

By: Ryan Gallagher December 14, 2017
Nissan's 2018 Leaf—which has some autonomous features—can be seen as a precursor to the company's plans to bring self-driving vehicles to market beginning in 2022.
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Last week, Nissan officials announced their plan to bring autonomous vehicles to market by 2022.

The Japanese manufacturer plans to take the self-driving car process step by step, releasing vehicles on various levels of the autonomy spectrum before any fully autonomous cars are available. On December 6, Nissan senior vice president Yutaka Sanada revealed the carmaker’s self-driving plans at Bloomberg’s Year Ahead Asia conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Currently, Nissan offers semi-autonomous features for new vehicle models such as the Serena minivan, the X-Trail SUV, and the new Leaf electric car. These models have low-level autonomy attributes such as single-lane driving and automatic parking. By 2020, certain Nissan cars will come with higher-level features like the ability to navigate urban traffic and intersections.

Along with Nissan’s multi-year autonomy plans, the automaker aims to offer a self-driving “robot taxi” service in Yokohama, Japan, where Nissan is based. The Japanese carmaker is teaming up with autonomous driving software developer DeNA Co. in this effort.

“In Japan we are studying the so-called robot taxi type of activity with government support, and this type of approach may lead to some new findings and new issues, and then we will try to improve it,” said Sanada. ”We want to reinforce collaboration with regulators.”

Nissan will now join the ranks of automakers like General Motors, Ford, Google's Waymo, and Honda, who are all entering the self-driving car industry.

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