The self-driving car, a Nissan Leaf, was tested on the Sagami Expressway in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture. The car used Nissan’s Autonomous Drive system to control its speed and movement. The system also allowed the car to examine road conditions and safely merge into traffic and move between lanes. Nissan vice chairman Toshiyuki Shiga and Yuji Kuroiwa, the Kanagawa prefecture’s governor, were passengers during the car’s test drive. Nissan is hoping to sell self-driving cars to the public by 2020, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Nissan isn’t isn’t the only company that is working on self-driving cars. Toyota Motors (TM) and BMW are both working on cars that can drive themselves and Google (GOOG) hopes to have self-driving technology for sale by 2018.
“The engineer’s view, for what it’s worth, is that self-driving technology will enter cars gradually, first for use in certain special and limited situations — highway driving, for example, in a form of augmented cruise control,” an engineer told Wunderground.com. “Then, eventually, after these baby steps have been mastered, the technology will progress toward the fully-automated electronic chauffeur that Google is working on.”