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Why Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Is Upbeat On Intelligent Mobility
Ghosn announces several technologies and partnerships as part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society
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It is the first year for Nissan to be part of the keynote at CES. And to deliver it, none other than the company's Chairman of the board and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, who also holds the role for Renault, and now Mitsubishi, took the stage at the Westgate Theatre in Las Vegas. This is also the first time that Nissan has announced deadlines for it autonomous car projects, and the approach it has taken towards it to ensure success of the project.
In his address, Ghosn announced several technologies and partnerships as part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society. These technologies will advance mobility toward a zero-emission and zero-fatality future on the roads, according to him.
"At Nissan, from the beginning, we work to bring the right technologies for the full spectrum of our vehicles and the most amount of people. This takes more than innovation. It takes ingenuity. And it's exactly what we deliver through Nissan Intelligent Mobility," he said.
Ghosn has made five key announcements that would directly impact the future of Nissan's business. The first among these was around SAM - Seamless Autonomous Mobility. Nissan believes SAM is the solution to accelerate the time it will take for autonomous vehicles to get on the road safely. A NASA developed technology, SAM, partners in-vehicle artificial intelligence (AI) with human support to help autonomous vehicles make decisions in unpredictable situations and build the knowledge of in-vehicle AI. "This technology could potentially enable millions of driverless cars to co-exist with human drivers in an accelerated timeline. It is part of Nissan Intelligent Integration," said Ghosn.
Taking the carmaker's autonomous drive strategy another step further, Mr Ghosn announced that a Renault-Nissan Alliance engagement, Nissan and Japanese internet company DeNA will begin tests aimed at developing driverless vehicles for commercial services. The first phase of testing will begin this year in designated zones in Japan, with a focus on technology development. By 2020, Nissan and DeNA plan to expand the scope of their tests to include the commercial usage of driverless technology for mobility services in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
In addition to advancements in Nissan's autonomous driving strategy, Mr Ghosn also announced plans to launch a new Nissan LEAF, with ProPILOT technology, enabling autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving.
On connected cars, that combine Nissan Intelligent Driving and Nissan Intelligent Integration, Ghosn informed that the Renault-Nissan Alliance is continuing its partnership with Microsoft to build the next generation of connected car technologies. Nissan has experimented with how Microsoft's personal assistant technology Cortana can make driving more efficient and seamless. Cortana is one of the technologies that the Alliance and Microsoft are exploring together.
To support the policy environment and planning needed to integrate these technologies into the world's cities, Ghosn pointed to the new partnership with 100 Resilient Cities -- Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC). 100RC is a global non-profit working to help cities build resilience to physical, social and economic challenges. From India, five cities - Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune and Surat - are part of this list.
Together, Nissan and 100RC will help cities lay the groundwork for autonomous drive, electric vehicles, and new mobility services. Nissan is 100RC's first automotive platform partner.
"We invite others to join us, as well, from tech partners to e-commerce companies, ride-hailing and car-sharing platforms, and social entrepreneurs who can help us to test and develop new vehicles and services, and make sure everyone has access to the latest technologies and services that bring value to their lives," Ghosn summed up.