Nissan chief confirms self-driving car will be ready by 2020

Nissan has reiterated that it will be ready when the time comes to move over to self-driving cars, claiming by 2020 it should have a fleet of cars with some level of self-driving.

Chief executive Carlos Ghosn claimed while it might not have a fully self-driving car, autonomous features will be present. Over a third of people in a recent poll said they would not use self-driving functionality, and Nissan might have the same reservations on a fully automated car in the near future.

Nissan has been one of the core companies involved in pushing electric cars, the Nissan Leaf was one of the first cars to go fully electric. The Japanese company is expected to have the same surge when it comes to self-driving cars.

2020 is a conservative date, considering Tesla Motors plans to add self-driving features in the next update to the Model S, set for sometime in the summer. Google also plans to launch its own car later this year for testers that want to try some of the self-driving features. Nissan might be thinking about the regulators in Japan though, who might be slower than European and US counterparts.

The regulation on self-driving means that features need to be sold as accessories to the car, instead of the main feature. Regulators in Germany, the UK and the US plan to legalise self-driving by 2017 - all three currently allow testing of self-driving vehicles on specific roads.

There is also a worry that some of the less technology-focused car manufacturers will fall behind, if they are not working on self-driving platforms. Either that, or they will need to start forking out money for Google’s own licensed platform.