News

We could see self-driving cars by 2018

We could see self-driving cars by 2018

SOMETHING IS MISSING:This image provided by Google shows a very early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. The two-seater won't be sold publicly, but Google on May 27 said it hopes by this time next year, 100 prototypes will be on public roads. Photo: Associated Press

PARIS (Reuters) – Cars that drive themselves could be on the roads four years from now, provided red tape does not get in the way, Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, said on Tuesday.

Silicon valley companies have long pioneered “autonomous vehicles”, and Google tested one in Nevada in 2012. German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz developed an S-class limousine that drove in August without any driver input.

Renault has created the Next 2 prototype version of its Zoe model which enables drivers to let go of the controls at speeds below 30 kilometers per hour thanks to GPS positioning, cameras and sensors, though a human must stay behind the wheel.

“The problem isn’t technology, it’s legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around … and especially who is responsible once there is no longer anyone inside,” Ghosn said at a French Automobile Club event.

The first cars could hit the roads in 2018 in the “pioneer countries” of France, Japan and the United States, with commercialization starting across Europe in 2020, the CEO said.

An amendment to United Nations rules agreed earlier this year would let drivers take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars. The change was pushed by Germany, Italy and France, whose high-end carmakers believe they are ready to zoom past U.S. tech pioneers to bring the first vehicles to market.

Provided the amendment clears all bureaucratic hurdles, it would allow a car to drive itself, as long as the system “can be overridden or switched off by the driver”. A driver must be present and able to take the wheel at any time.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, editing by William Hardy)

Local Headlines

in Local

Estherville Fake $20

20bill

The Estherville Police Department has received a counterfeit $20 bill from a local financial institution...

in Local

Spencer Schools 2015-16 Calendar On Hold

adminbuilding1240

The Spencer School Board is still weighing their options on the first day of school for next year...

in Local

Law Enforcement Reports

lawenforcement1240

Drug and alcohol charges were filed following a late Monday evening traffic stop by the Clay County Sheriff's Office...

in Local

SMU 2015 Rebate Forms Available

SMU 1240 Image

2015 rebate forms are now available...

in Local

Fitzpatrick To Be Resentenced

fitzsentence

Christopher Fitzpatrick is currently serving a 45-year prison term for his role in the fatal beating of another man...