The self-driving cars use cameras and sensors to detect roadway lanes and objects around them in order to guide themselves without human intervention.
GM has already announced plans to introduce a semi-automated Cadillac driving system in 2015, but this is not as ambitious as Google or Nissan's plans.
Nissan is already building an autonomous drive proving ground in Japan and it wants to have self-driving across the model range within two vehicle generations.
According to Computerworld, Nissan is currently working with top boffins at MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Oxford and the University of Tokyo.
At the moment the cars will be more expensive than ordinary models but Nissan insists that they will be realistic prices.
Nissan will demonstrate its autonomous drive technology for the first time at Nissan 360, an invitation-only test drive event being held later this year.
It will demo laser scanners, "Around View Monitor" cameras, and advanced artificial intelligence and actuators.