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Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: Autonomous Technology Must Drive Auto Industry’s Future

Delivering a keynote address on the Automobili-D stage at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Nissan Motor Corp. Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn outlined his vision for the future of autonomous driving while also discussing the impact of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

Ghosn highlighted four megatrends that are transforming the automotive industry. These trends include: the proliferation of global electric vehicle sales, increased consumer preference for autonomous and driverless vehicles, smart technology and connectivity, and the emergence of car-sharing and mobility as a service.

While he believes autonomous and driverless vehicles will dominant roads over the next decade, Ghosn did not discount the fact that automakers will still have to design and engineer a vehicle that consumers will want to purchase.

“In the end, we will still need an attractive, reliable vehicle that drives well,” he said.

Ghosn said as the auto industry embraces new technologies, collaboration among automakers, startups, the government, and the private sector will be essential.

In answering a question about President-elect Trump’s stance toward automakers who shift vehicle production out of the United States, Ghosn said Nissan has adapted a wait and see approach to the new administration’s policies while expressing hope for the future.

“If there’s one thing I would ask of President-elect Trump, it would be to maintain consumer confidence and a strong economy,” he said.