Renault will benefit from the autonomous driving technology that alliance partner Nissan is developing and vice versa.
"It is common asset and a common technology of Renault-Nissan," said Takao Asami, who is vice president of research and advanced engineering for the alliance. "How it is applied, meaning which regions and which models, is up to each company's product planning."
Nissan debuted the IDS Concept hatchback at the Tokyo auto show on Oct. 28. The Leaf-based car has technologies Nissan is developing in its push to roll out increasingly sophisticated autonomously driving cars in the next five years, with major steps planned for 2016, 2018 and 2020.
Nissan will start its push by launching technology that allows autonomous driving in heavy highway traffic. This feature will be called Piloted Drive 1.0 and will be available in Japan by the end of next year.
Nissan’s home market will get the technology first because the majority of the development team is based there, which make it easier to react if there is a problem, Asami said. Piloted Drive 1.0 would not require any changes to current driving regulations, he said.
After the Japan launch the technology will be rolled out in Europe, China and the U.S., Nissan said last week.
The second step, due in 2018 and called Piloted Drive 2.0, allows automatic lane changing on the highway. Piloted Drive 3.0, which is scheduled to launch in 2020, will allow Nissan’s cars to negotiate city intersections without driver intervention.