PHOTO CAPTION: Renault ZOE Next Two self-driving car hemmed in by other Renault vehicles during test drive.

Renault Joins Autonomous Self-Driving Electric Car Parade

Renault Nissan Alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn demonstrates the French partner's self-driving Next Two ZOE electric car.

Published: 10-Feb-2014

Renault Nissan Alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn has for years argued that the French-Japanese alliance intends to take the leadership position in the global electric-drive vehicle market. Now with the race to develop autonomous, self-driving cars, he is equally determined to not be left behind by competitors. To demonstrate that commitment, the Brazilian-born car chief, climbed into a specially modified Renault Zoe electric car and took it for leisurely drive along what presumably was a controlled road, reading a newspaper while the car stirred itself.

Ghosn pointed out that the average car owner spends some two hours in their vehicles every day, time that he thinks could be more productive and possibly less stressful if the driver could let the vehicle attend to driving.

Renault's Next Two demonstrator joins a similar Nissan program underway both in Japan and England using the LEAF electric car; and presumably there is cross collaboration between the two programs. When autonomous vehicles actually become legal of operate on public roads is still a significant unknown, as is the impact they are likely to have on car ownership, suburban sprawl, and more importantly accident rates.

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