Opening the New York motor show with a keynote speech, Ghosn also said the car industry would change more in the next five years than in the next 20.
He noted that the key developments would be the growth of electric cars in response to stricter air quality and emissions reduction targets, greater connectivity in cars as more technology firms entered the industry and the adoption of autonomous cars.
He made the distinction between autonomous cars and driverless ones, saying that he expects a car to be able to drive itself through a city with the driver's hands off the wheel by 2020, but with the driver being able to take back full control at any time. Full driverless cars with the driver not in the front seat were much further off, he said.
Ghosn said his company was lobbying governments around the world to make it legal for a driver to take their hands off the wheel and do something else, and he expects that to be resolved by 2020.