Nissan has figured out how much people will pay for cars that drive themselves – Business Insider

Posted: Wednesday, November 09, 2016



C26 Nissan Serena


In
Japan, the Nissan Serena comes with an autonomous driving
package.


By
Kuha455405 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0



About 60% of consumers will pay a premium of $1,000 (£806) for a
vehicle that comes with an option to allow it to drive
autonomously on a highway, according to Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of
Nissan-Renault. 

Ghosn discussed the data at Web Summit, the giant tech conference
in Lisbon this week.

The data comes from sales of the Nissan Serena minivan in Japan,
Ghosn said. He said the option package proves there is a large
future market for cars that can drive autonomously. He was asked
how big that market might be.

“Oh, huge,” he replied.

Nissan did a test in Japan of a Serena model that was capable of
single lane autonomous driving on a highway. The car has the
ability to stay centered in a lane, and to keep its distance from
the cars around it. “This is the first wave … on the highway. If
you’re on the highway the car can drive by itself,” Ghosn said.

“We offered it as an option, a paid option. Obviously, when you
are offering this free everyone says ‘yes.’ This is not
significant. Offer it at a price and see how many people take it.
60% of people buying this car are taking this option,
priced. That’s very encouraging, and here we are only
talking single lane highway autonomous. So imagine what we are
going to be to city-driving, autonomous. This is where we are
going to have most of the benefit because most of the people say
we enjoy driving, yes, but we do not enjoy driving in a traffic
jam.”


Carlos Ghosn
Carlos
Ghosn.

Jim
Edwards


Traffic-choked cities will be where autonomous cars really take
off, Ghosn said. “Read a book, video-conference, study, write a
letter — it’s a great advantage,” he said.

He added that he believes that autonomous commuting could give
people back the “lost” two hours a day they currently spend
driving.

The Serena autonomous-driving function comes as part of an
optional package, Ghosn said.

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