The race to get self-driving cars on the road for consumer use is well under way, and Nissan Motor Co. says that it is aiming to have multiple vehicles “ready” for retail sale within seven years. However, that doesn’t mean that the cars will be featured in showrooms in then. The reason for the discrepancy lies in federal regulations still to be decided regarding their use, and just what type of insurance policies will be needed to cover them, including liability during emergencies should the automatic systems fail, etc.
While engineers claim that that the vehicles will “signal the driver to take over manual control of the vehicle,” the NHTSA is concerned about scenarios in which the driver may be (temporarily) incapacitated and is unable to take control, etc.”
“What we are really saying is that we have the technology and we will be ready to market in 2020," stated Nissan Americas spokesman DaveReuter. "There will be an ongoing maturation of the technologies over the next few years.
The automaker has been developing self-driving vehicles for years at its Japanese r&d centers, and now plans to step up its investment in the technology, including a new center for advanced technology here in Silicon Valley.
"We will have a fully functioning test track in operation by the end of our next fiscal year that will be dedicated to this field. And the more miles we put on our test vehicles, the more knowledge we will gather to be ready."