Nissan has announced plans to release multiple autonomous vehicles by the year 2020. The auto maker’s goal is to have the technology available across its model range within two vehicle generations, and in order to accomplish this, Nissan’s engineers are currently carrying out intensive research on the technology, alongside teams from the world’s top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

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Nissan is currently working on a dedicated autonomous driving proving ground in Japan that will be completed within the next year. The proving ground features real townscapes that will be used to push vehicle testing beyond the limits possible on public roads so as to ensure the technology is safe.

“Nissan Motor Company’s willingness to question conventional thinking and to drive progress – is what sets us apart,” said CEO Carlos Ghosn. “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 realize it.”

Right now Nissan is testing the fully autonomous technology in the Nissan Leaf EV that uses laser scanners, Around View Monitor cameras, as well as advanced artificial intelligence and actuators to enable them to negotiate complex real-world driving scenarios. Nissan hasn’t announced how much the technology will cost, but Nissan says that it will be available for “realistic prices.”

+ Nissan