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)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

diaz

A look at the celebrities who will be celebrating this weekend.

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top country tracks

bradpaisley

LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard charts.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Entertainment

Lena Dunham and Kate Mara hit by a falling sign

Lena Dunham, of HBO's "Girls," arrives at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards held at The Nokia Theatre  in Los Angeles.

The "Girls" and "House of Cards" actresses saw stars of their own after an accident at a Venice premiere.

in Entertainment

Charges dropped against Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s suspected drug dealer

In this Jan. 19, 2014 photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The GenArt Quaker Good Energy Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote," was found dead Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in his New York apartment. He was 46.

Drug-selling charges against a friend of late film star Philip Seymour Hoffman have been dropped after officers neglected to read the suspect his Miranda rights.