It appears as if self-driving cars are inevitable in the next decade: Nissan announced this week that it will begin selling the technology by the year 2020.
This week, the car maker unveiled its progress on a version of the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle that can drive itself without human input. Nissan has partnered with institutions like Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Oxford, Stanford and University of Tokyo to not only bring the technology to the masses, but to do so cheaply. The company estimates that the cost of making cars driverless will be about $1,000.
Nissan’s new technology, named Autonomous Drive, utilizes “Around View Montior cameras,” laser scanners and complex computer programming to help its vehicles avoid collision. In the company’s vision, your GPS-powered car will know all the correct turns to make to get you to your destination. Should a car in front of you break suddenly, your car will too. It will even know how to navigate a busy four-way stop – something many human drivers struggle with daily.
Nissan isn’t the only company working on this technology: Google has been famously working on self-driving cars for years. Just last year the Internet giant announced that its driverless vehicles have already logged 300,000 real-world road miles without a single accident. Google's technology is expected to be ready for commercial use in 3 to 5 years, according to the project’s leader.