NEXT TWO: Renault's Vision For Autonomous Driving In 2020
|   Monday, February 17, 2014
Autonomous vehicles are the next real step in future mobility as well as improving safety, or so it is thought. NEXT TWO is Renault's vision for the electric autonomous vehicle from 2020 onwards.
Renault will link connectivity with the delegation of certain functions from the driver, thus giving them more time and improving safety.

Renault NEXT TWO is not the first autonomous car, several companies announcing already their intention to develop such projects, after Google built its own autonomous vehicle.
The current technology, which is implemented on some cars today, especially Premium and Luxury segments, is sufficient to equip such an autonomous car, but the tests and legislation which regulate such vehicles are urgently needed.

"The NEXT TWO prototype represents the first stage in the mobility of tomorrow with an original concept that combines high-speed connectivity with ceded control. In specific situations, where the driver can most benefit from the extra time, the vehicle drives itself. In traffic jams up to 30 km /h on the expressway for example, NEXT TWO frees up time for drivers by ingeniously sensing its environment. Autonomous driving is the next step in advancing vehicle and road safety. Together, Renault and Nissan are working on complementary technologies that can predict, detect and prevent collisions. This more holistic approach promises maximum protection for people in and outside the car", stated Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Renault NEXT TWO is equipped with video cameras, radar and sensors that provide information about the road and other cars. Based on this information, the computer acts accordingly on the throttle, brake, and steering. NEXT TWO has a range of equipment that allows connectivity via display and applications on the phone, videoconferencing support, interaction with traffic signs including advertising posters and automatic valet parking function.

Carlos Ghosn further declared that the Next Two prototype is designed to "combine the worlds of delegated driving and connectivity. Not only will autonomous driving enhance safety but it will also free up time for drivers. Being connected will enable them to make the most of this extra time by providing them with access to new in-car services such as video-conferences, on-line shopping, travel information and more."

On board the NEXT TWO passengers will have more time for productive activities, or just entertainment, through the high level of connectivity. Having a basic "open source" connectivity, the system can be connected to any available network (3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, etc.) and is compatible with all operating systems. While on board the driver can be safely connected just like at home or the office; all the while the car is driving itself.

However, developing a car capable of driving itself safely in all conditions takes time. But the NEXT TWO, based on the Renault ZOE, is an initial step in this direction. The NEXT TWO is equipped with a video camera, front sensors and an ultrasonic field surrounding the car, together forming a protection bubble, which guarantees passenger safety.

Another reason why Renault is walking down this path is the claim that each year in Europe and the US, city drivers lose between 60 hours and 80 hours of their time due to traffic jams. Furthermore, over 16 billion liters of fuel are wasted because of the same traffic jams.
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