The rate of technological advancement within the automotive industry is staggering. Your vehicle has become a cutting-edge computer, using cameras, lasers, and microprocessors to help you get safely from point A to point B. Even so, one factor still makes automobiles a risky business: drivers.
While seemingly antithetical to the process of personal transportation, removing the driver from the scenario has the potential to increase safety and reduce traffic accidents by such a huge margin that nearly every carmaker in the world has taken note. Even companies like Google are testing out driverless cars. But only one automaker at this point has gone “all-in.”
That company is Nissan. The second-largest Japanese automaker has yet again proven their progressive mindset and willingness to take risks by announcing plans to bring the first self-driving car into production by 2020.
The featured vehicle in this noble project is none other than the Nissan Leaf, the popular battery-electric car that company executives hope will make up 10 percent of the global automobile market by decade’s end. This is an ambitious plan to say the least, but considering Nissan made good on their promise to bring a zero-emission vehicle to market by 2010 (also the Leaf), the company has proven that they can get things done.
“We will be able to bring multiple, affordable, fully autonomous vehicles to the market by 2020,” said VP Andy Palmer. “Such systems mean frustrating and unproductive commutes could become a thing of the past.”
Palmer also mentioned that the technology “would reduce accidents and improve safety, perhaps even ending road-traffic fatalities all together.” This would be a welcome advancement, considering over 36,200 traffic deaths occurred in 2012 alone, equaling a total cost of $276.6 billion.
Going driverless will also allow the Nissan Leaf to make more efficient use of public roads, particularly in high-traffic areas, like Boston or Los Angeles, while greatly reducing energy consumption. Nissan estimates autonomous driving could reduce C02 emissions by over 300 million tons a year.
Massachusetts is one of the safer states to drive; our residents know how to handle themselves on the road. Therefore, a Nissan Leaf presence in Boston would serve to create even more secure roadways.
Once a pie-in-the-sky idea, autonomous driving is now the future and Nissan is leading the way. Check out the 2013 Nissan Leaf and other award-winning models at your local Nissan dealership in Boston today!
Can’t wait for 2020? Not ready to give the amazing Leaf driving experience up to a computer? Take a closer look at the 2013 Nissan Leaf in the video below, or schedule a test drive today!