YOKOHAMA -- Nissan Motor Co. said on Thursday it would, for now, stick to self-driving technology which uses radar sensors and cameras, avoiding lidar or light-based sensors because of their high cost and limited capabilities.
The Japanese automaker unveiled updated self-driving technology a month after Tesla Inc.'s CEO Elon Musk called lidar "a fool's errand," berating the technology for being expensive and unnecessary.
Nissan, which wants to have its self-driving cars on city streets by 2020, has long shunned lidar, a relatively new technology that recently has attracted an influx of investment by competitors.
"At the moment, lidar lacks the capabilities to exceed the capabilities of the latest technology in radar and cameras," Tetsuya Iijima, general manager of advanced technology development for automated driving, told reporters at Nissan's headquarters.
"It would be fantastic if lidar technology was at the level that we could use it in our systems, but it's not. There's an imbalance between its cost and its capabilities."
Iijima unveiled Nissan's own latest self-driving technology, which enables hands-free driving in single lanes on highways on predefined routes.