Unlike Tesla, Nissan doesn't think fully autonomous cars will be ready before 2020

Nissan IDS Concept
Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, is extremely cautious about self-driving cars. Luxury automakers like Tesla claim that they can have a fully autonomous car on sale in two or three years, but Ghosn firmly believes the technology won’t be ready to hit the market until 2020 at the earliest.

“If it’s a question of being autonomous on one lane on a highway or maybe changing lanes, then yes this is 2016, 2017. You’re talking about autonomous driving in a city, with crossroads or the car making decisions in complicated situations, then frankly I don’t think it’s going to be ready before 2020,” affirmed the executive on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show.

In addition to tech-related issues, Ghosn pointed out that there is a big difference between being able to buy a car that’s labeled as self-driving and being allowed to use it for what it was designed for. Spending more on a new car equipped with self-driving technology is a waste of money if laws and regulations force the driver to keep his or her hands on the steering wheel at all times. In other words, self-driving cars only make sense if the driver can sit back, relax, and simply enjoy the ride. Most semi-autonomous systems on the market today — including Tesla’s Autopilot and Mercedes’ Steering Assist — require the driver to stay focused on the road ahead.

Renault-Nissan’s top executive stressed that his statements don’t indicate that he doesn’t see the potential of autonomous vehicles. Nissan is testing an experimental self-driving Leaf in Japan, and the alliance recently outlined a plan to launch more than 10 semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles by 2020. Finally, Ghosn pointed out that autonomous technology can drastically change the lives of people who are disabled or who have gotten too old to drive.

“Today a lot of people stop driving because they cannot drive any more. This technology is going to enable you to drive until you don’t want to any more,” predicted Ghosn.

Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

BMW’s 2020 M340i will show off mix of tech and luxury at the Los Angeles show

The 2020 3 Series represents the seventh generation of BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan. Where previous generations emphasized the driving experience, the 2020 3 Series focuses more on tech than ever before.
Cars

Autonomous cars could lead to sex on wheels, study shows

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Cars

Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…