Many of the world's automakers, and companies outside the auto industry such as Google Inc., are working on technologies that allow cars to navigate without human intervention.
The bigger hurdle for such vehicles becoming readily available to consumers is approval from regulators around the world, he told reporters at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters.
Ghosn said autonomous driving was sure to be part of the cars of the future because market studies with consumers, especially younger drivers, who will determine future cars, show that is what they want, along with connectivity and zero or low emissions.
Ghosn said Nissan sees autonomous vehicles as adding to driving pleasure, and a totally driverless car is not at the center of the automaker's plans.
The autonomous driving Nissan foresees will assist or enhance driving, he said. Nissan may end up with a driverless car, but that was not the automaker's goal, he said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, another Japanese company, mobile Internet company DeNA, will join the race to make human drivers obsolete.
DeNA said it will launch a joint venture with Tokyo-based ZMP Inc., known for developing autonomous vehicle technology, with an eye toward building a driverless transportation business.
The two companies said in a statement Tuesday that the venture will combine DeNA’s “Internet services know-how with ZMP’s automated driving technology” to realize robot taxis and buses.
ZMP is a start-up that develops robots and driverless car technology.