Renault and Nissan want to release cars that drive autonomously in traffic jams in 2016

The Renault-Nissan Alliance announced at Mobile World Congress next year that it will launch two cars that can drive fully autonomously in traffic jams. According to the car manufacturer, this is a ‘first wave’ of self-driving cars.

CEO Carlos Ghosn gave some insight into Renault-Nissan’s plans for self-driving cars during a keynote, Datanews writes. According to Ghosn, two luxury car models will be launched next year that are partly autonomous. These are vehicles that, after detecting slow-moving traffic, can drive independently in traffic jams. This allows the driver to temporarily take his hands off the steering wheel and foot off the accelerator and brake pedals.

Around 2018, a second generation of autonomous vehicles will appear on the road, the car manufacturer believes. These vehicles can drive independently on the highway. By 2020, Renault-Nissan expects that autonomously driving cars will also be able to function in cities, but that it will take until about 2025 before cars can participate fully autonomously in traffic.

Ghosn also said that he does not see the arrival of parties such as Apple, which is rumored to be working on an electric car, as a threat to traditional car manufacturers. On the contrary, the new entrants could have a positive effect on the automotive industry, as innovation in the sector could accelerate. In addition, the CEO sees an important role for start-ups.

Nissan is already fully engaged in research & development for self-driving cars. The Japanese car manufacturer is collaborating with the American space agency NASA, among others.