Nissan has announced that it expects to begin selling multiple models of self-driving cars by 2020 with plans to demonstrate its autonomous tech later this year.

Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous drive vehicles, use cameras and sensors to detect roadway lanes and objects around them in order to guide themselves without human intervention.

Among others, GM plans to introduce a semi-automated Cadillac driving system in 2015. Google was among the first tech companies to announce plans to produce a self-driving car for “ordinary people” in less than five years.

Nissan is currently working with top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Oxford and The University of Tokyo, to develop its self-drive technology.

Nissan autonomous drive“Nissan’s autonomous driving will be achieved at realistic prices for consumers. The goal is availability across the model range within two vehicle generations,” Nissan said in a statement.

“In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle. Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history,” said CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Now, I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.”

Among the technologies the company plans to demo are laser scanners, “Around View Monitor” cameras, and advanced artificial intelligence and actuators. The technologies have been installed in Nissan LEAFs to enable them to negotiate what Nissan called “real-world driving scenarios.”

Nissan’s autonomous driving technology is an extension of its Safety Shield, which monitors a 360-degree view around a vehicle for risks, offers warnings to the driver and takes action, if necessary.

Credit: Computerworld