While Nissan has been quite vocal about its plans to offer autonomous driving capability on its cars, the Japanese automaker’s luxury division Infiniti hasn’t been so proactive in this field. That will change soon, though.
The feature made its debut in the Q50 a couple of years ago and keeps a vehicle in its lane by making adjustments to the steering wheel based on data collected from various sensors. It’s designed to work at speeds of 45 mph and above.
Roland KruegerEnlarge Photo
Similar systems are offered by Mercedes-Benz, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] and Volvo, and Audi’s next-generation A8 due out in 2017 will have an autonomous mode for highways as well.
More sophisticated autonomous systems that can handle urban driving and even intersections are being developed. Krueger said these require more advanced infrastructure, for example detailed mapping data, common lane markings and signs, and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-object communication. Krueger also pointed out that there are still regulatory hurdles to be overcome.
Nevertheless, major automakers plus tech firms see fully autonomous cars as an inevitability and are taking action by not only developing the technology but also forming partnerships with ride-sharing businesses in preparation of autonomous on-demand mobility services.