Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn said in an op-ed released for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week that autonomous cars are the next step toward safer cars and highways.
Referring to three challenges facing the future of the automobile as a freedom-enhancing, productivity-boosting entity in our daily lives — safety, the environment, and affordability — Ghosn said the autonomous car could be the way forward to a day of “zero-fatality” roads and highways.
“Autonomous driving is the next step in advancing vehicle and road safety,” Ghosn said.
“Together, Renault and Nissan are working on complementary technologies that can predict, detect, and prevent collisions. This more holistic approach promises maximum protection for people in and outside the car.
“With the help of policy-makers providing clear regulatory oversight, these technologies could lead to ‘zero fatality’ roads within our lifetimes. They also promise far greater freedom of mobility for the aged and the disabled, and will reduce the stress associated with driving in heavy traffic and unfamiliar locations,” he added.
Ghosn used the example of Renault’s native country of France, which he said has four times more vehicles than India, while India has 20 times more road-related deaths than France.
“We should not forget the important role that the automobile has played in driving economic growth and freedom of mobility for more than 100 years,” Ghosn said.
“If today’s global automotive industry was a country, it would be the world’s sixth largest economy – greater than the GDP of Brazil – and account for more than 50 million jobs.
“Our challenge is to ensure that the automobile remains a vehicle for progress and prosperity around the world well into the 21st century.
“In partnership with other carmakers, industries and governments, we have the capability to reinvent the car for a new era, to provide sustainable mobility for all,” he concluded.
As we’ve covered in these pages before, Nissan’s push for autonomous cars continues apace, with testing recently getting underway in Japan of an autonomous Nissan LEAF.