Editor’s Note: This blog entry is excerpted from a longer piece that will run in the Spring issue of the Council’s HV Mfg Magazine. Be sure to pick up your copy when the issue comes out this April.
Will you be able to simply tell your next car “home Siri” then sit back and enjoy the ride? Are those long lines at the pump about to become a thing of the past? Are automobile accidents soon to go the way of the dodo? No, not anytime soon they’re not (sorry for getting your hopes up), but it is very likely that within the next generation America’s car industry and culture will see its biggest revolution since Henry Ford. The car of the future will be green, autonomous, and safe.
At a press conference on January 7, Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief Executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a strategic partnership between the two car manufacturers, announced that Nissan would introduce 10 new autonomous vehicles in the next four years. Not two weeks later, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk told reporters that the “Autopilot” feature introduced in the Tesla Model S last fall was “probably” a better driver than a person, and even went so far as to claim that within a couple years it would be technologically feasible for a driver to summon a Tesla car from the opposite side of the country.