News

We could see self-driving cars by 2018

We could see self-driving cars by 2018

SOMETHING IS MISSING:This image provided by Google shows a very early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. The two-seater won't be sold publicly, but Google on May 27 said it hopes by this time next year, 100 prototypes will be on public roads. Photo: Associated Press

PARIS (Reuters) – Cars that drive themselves could be on the roads four years from now, provided red tape does not get in the way, Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, said on Tuesday.

Silicon valley companies have long pioneered “autonomous vehicles”, and Google tested one in Nevada in 2012. German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz developed an S-class limousine that drove in August without any driver input.

Renault has created the Next 2 prototype version of its Zoe model which enables drivers to let go of the controls at speeds below 30 kilometers per hour thanks to GPS positioning, cameras and sensors, though a human must stay behind the wheel.

“The problem isn’t technology, it’s legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around … and especially who is responsible once there is no longer anyone inside,” Ghosn said at a French Automobile Club event.

The first cars could hit the roads in 2018 in the “pioneer countries” of France, Japan and the United States, with commercialization starting across Europe in 2020, the CEO said.

An amendment to United Nations rules agreed earlier this year would let drivers take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars. The change was pushed by Germany, Italy and France, whose high-end carmakers believe they are ready to zoom past U.S. tech pioneers to bring the first vehicles to market.

Provided the amendment clears all bureaucratic hurdles, it would allow a car to drive itself, as long as the system “can be overridden or switched off by the driver”. A driver must be present and able to take the wheel at any time.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, editing by William Hardy)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Lawmakers Want to Reverse Child Care Assistance Program Changes

children

Lawmakers are proposing a change to the qualifications for state child care assistance, while at the same time eliminating cuts to that program.

in Local

Borrowers, Do Your Homework

farm progress show

Survey of ag lenders unveiled at Farm Progress Show

in Local

Economic Development Commission Backs Parking Garage Repairs

9-1-15 Economic Development Commission

A project that's been delayed for years may end up going forward, thanks in part to the city's new Economic Development Commission.

in Local

SEIU Urges Override of Rauner Veto

9-1-15 SEIU

The Service Employees International Union used the State Capitol Rotunda to hold a class they say Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to cut.

in Local

Farmers Need to be Promoters, Too

USFRA FPS sustainability press conf

Survey released at Decatur's Farm Progress Show.