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Nissan Promises Driverless Cars By 2020

When Google debuted their “driverless car” a few years ago, they caused quite a stir in the auto market. Were they considering launching their own line of automobiles? Was this just an experiment, or were they looking to share their technology? How long would it take for this to become mainstream?

Google isn’t the only car company rocking the waves, however. Tesla, GMC, and Nissan currently build and sell some of the best electric vehicles on the market, with Tesla being the new startup in the industry. Just last year, Tesla was named the “Auto Trend Car of The Year” — the first award of its kind given to an electric vehicle. As alternative fuel technology continues ascending into mainstream commercialization, we’re certain to see more companies adopt electric cars as their flagship vehicle.

So now that electric vehicles are shaking the market, what’s the next evolution for the auto industry? As Google has presented, it is most certainly an autonomous driving option. Google’s resident genius, Ray Kurzweil, has gone so far as to suggest that in the next few decades, all vehicles driving the streets will be autonomous — some without any occupants in the vehicle at all.

It’s sure to be an expensive early adoption, but for those who can afford it, driverless cars are more than just a convenience or novelty — they might even save your life. Check out Nissan’s CEO explaining his vision for the future of driverless cars:

In 2005, there were nearly 6,420,000 car accidents in the U.S. alone, at a cost of more than $230 billion in damages to vehicles and property. In 2012, over 34,000 people died in auto accidents. Most of those crashes were due to human error, reckless driving, drunk driving, etc. With a driverless car in charge, the possibility of crashing is all but impossible, unless somebody were to hit you.

By the end of this decade, Nissan hopes to launch a 100% driverless car, with the option of manual control. It’s an ambitious move, considering BMW has stated they wouldn’t be able to offer driverless cars for another decade or two, though they’re planning on a semi-autonomous option for certain models in the years to come.

Not only are driverless cars more efficient at using fuel, but they’re safer at navigating roads than humans, since they can make calculations and corrections much faster than we can. With Nissan leading the way, we’ll see who else climbs aboard to offer a driverless car for the future.

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