Japanese carmaker Nissan has announced that it is in the process of developing a self-driving car, which it hopes to put on sale by the end of the decade.

The company has already designed a bespoke test track for its autonomous creations, which it hopes to build next year. It would be used to test the self-driving cars’ reactions to different obstacles in a safe environment.

Speaking to tech website, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said: "In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle. Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history.

"Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realise it."

The self-drive technology is based around Nissan’s 360 Around-View system. Already available on models such as he Qashqai, where it gives drivers a top-down view of the car to aid manoeuvring, it would be combined with GPS and laser technology to allow the car’s onboard computer to pinpoint exactly where it is in relation to other traffic.

Nissan states that the reason it is pursuing research into autonomous cars is that it would take human error out of driving, preventing countless injuries and deaths each year.

However, the flip-side of widespread autonomous vehicles is that jobs are likely to be put at risk. Be it taxi drivers, lorry drivers and even bin men – all could potentially become a thing of the past.

Do you think self-driving cars are a good idea? Would you trust one to get your children to school safely? Have your say below.

Daljinder Nagra


August 29, 2013

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