TOKYO, July 17 Nissan Motor Co chief
executive Carlos Ghosn said some car makers remain reticent
about working with technology giant Google Inc as it
develops driverless vehicles for fear of their brands'
identities becoming submerged.
Ghosn, who also heads France's Renault, said car
makers can benefit from collaborating with Google, which offers
its Android software for cars and which is building prototypes
of self-driving cars. "But at the end of the
day, I think all car makers are extremely cautious about
maintaining control on their own cars," he told a news
conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
"We obviously don't want to become just a kind of a simple
common hardware," Ghosn said. "We really want to keep the
attractiveness of the product and the control on the product."
Nissan, along with General Motors, Volkwagen AG's
Audi and Honda Motor Co, teamed up with
Google this year to form the Open Automotive Alliance to
incorporate the Android operating system into cars.
Ghosn previously set a target for Japan's third-biggest car
maker to introduce its own self-driving vehicles on a commercial
basis by 2020. On Thursday he said it's a goal for Nissan to
become the first to introduce driverless cars on a mass scale so
as to set the standard and boost its brand's presence.
"There is always a premium for those who come first because
you are associating the brand with something that in the end
everybody is going to get," he said.
In order to hit its 2020 target, Nissan plans to introduce
systems that allow fully automated parking of cars and enable
driverless cars to negotiate crowded highways, both by 2016.
These innovations will be followed by technologies to allow the
driverless cars to automatically change lanes and cross
intersections in cities, Ghosn said.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)