Nissan-Renault plans driverless ride-hailing service within 10 years

Nissan-Renault are competing with other automakers and tech companies to build autonomous cars for ride-sharing and ride-hailing services. Nissan-Renault blog photo.

Nissan-Renault alliance currently testing self-driving cars

The Nissan-Renault alliance is planning to launch its driverless ride-hailing and ride-sharing services within the next 10 years, according to the two automakers looking to survive in an industry that is quickly transforming as these new services gain traction.

Carmakers are now in competition with tech firms such as Alphabet Inc and Uber Technologies Inc. in the pay-per-ride market which is threatening to impact demand for car ownership.

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Ogi Redzic, head of Nissan-Renault’s Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services division, told Reuters “We think that the big opportunity for us is in automation, electric vehicles and ride-sharing and hailing together.”

A small group of automakers, including the Nissan-Renault alliance are looking to enter the ride-hailing market.  Goldman Sachs last month estimated the industry would grow eightfold by 2030 and will be five times the size of the taxi market.

According to Redzic, the partnership are currently testing self-driving vehicles and that any service would run on pre-mapped courses with predetermined pick-up and drop-off points.

Nissan and Renault are developing their system with DeNA Co Ltd, a Japanese game software maker and French public transport operator Transdev SA.

Their competition includes BMW, which is also testing autonomous vehicles for use in ride-hailing services and Uber’s self-driving technology that is also under development.

Earlier this month, Lyft Inc along with US tech firm nuTonomy Inc announced they will begin piloting an autonomous vehicle ride-hailing service in Boston.  General Motors is a major shareholder in Lyft Inc.

Beyond the testing and technology, Redzic says self-driving services also need regulations to change to allow driverless cars on the roads.  Most global jurisdictions do not authorize vehicles to operate on regular roads without a driver.

“It doesn’t just depend on us,” he said. “To become fully driverless you need laws to change.”

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