The global value of the autonomous vehicle industry is projected to be $556.67 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 39.47%. The self-driving vehicles are designed with artificial intelligence (AI) software, light detection & ranging (LiDAR), and RADAR sensing technology to further monitor the 60-meter range around the car and form an active 3D map of the current environment. However, the technology has been redefined by Tesla with a camera on the corners for better visual recognition rather than using expensive LiDAR.
The top companies involved in the Autonomous vehicle industry are: –
Waymo: A modified Toyota Prius with driverless technology launched for the self-driving car project in 2009. The world’s first fully self-driving car got its licence to test in Phoenix, Arizona without a steering wheel gas or brake pedal. Waymo is in collaboration with Jaguar to create the finest electric self-driving vehicle. One of the improvements seen in Jaguar I-PACE is the addition of the camera along with LiDAR, and radar sensors. It also uses microphones for detecting sirens from emergency vehicles for autonomous functionality.
Aptiv: The company is in partnership with Lift to launch Robo-taxi, a modified BMW 5 Series. Aptiv is in full operation with an autonomous driving system in Boston, Las Vegas, Pittsburg, and Singapore where the plan is an expansion of autonomous mobility centres in Shanghai with a focus on technology development on public roads.
General Motors: One of the renowned names in the automotive industry got its world’s second-largest autonomous fleet of 180 vehicles that are in testing mode. The company is challenging aggressively with Waymo. The AV drove more than 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles). The company bought its Sidecar’s assets in 2016 and invested $500M in lyft. In 2018, Cadillac CT6 was launched, a semi-autonomous Super Cruise. A petition in January 2018 was filed by GM to run a commercial ride-sharing business via autonomous Chevrolet bolts. $2.25B support was received from SoftBank for its autonomous work. A patent of application “Decentralized Distributed Map using Blockchain” was published.
Nissan: Self-driving system known as ProPilot was announced in 2016. It is an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System) with a single line stop and go technology. The New ProPilot 2.0 uses a 3D map navigation system with its advanced sensors and cameras recognizing the pedestrian’s faces. Leaf was launched in 2018 with partial self-driving capabilities at a nearby consumer electronics show.
Zoox: A self-driving start-up established in Australia and founded in 2014, developing the world’s first ground-up fully autonomous vehicle fleet with a supporting ecosystem for the technology to enter into the market. It is an intersection of AI, robotics, and design to provide the next generation mobility-as-a-service in an urban environment with a prototype of the electric and bidirectional driverless vehicle with the capability to maneuver at the right angle without turning actually. The vehicle is not equipped with a steering wheel and developed with the capability to operate self-driving taxis that would roam interminably on the streets.
nuTonomy: A self-driving car startup, created by former MIT faculty Dr. Karl Lagnemma and professor Emilio Frazzoli, had set up the autonomous vehicle fleet on road from Boston to Singapore. The company partnered with Group PSA, owner of European car brand Peugeot SA where self-driving SUVs to Singapore were brought. In August 2016, an autonomous taxi service using a fleet of 6 modified Renault Zoes and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs was launched. In June 2017, nuTonomy teamed with Lyft to figure out the working principle of an autonomous vehicle for ride-sharing or personal ownership. In late 2017, a self-driving car pilot was seen rolling on the streets of Boston, a positive result from both the companies. The company joined Aptiv and became an integral part of Aptiv’s Automated Mobility team.
Baidu: The Chinese Autonomous company is already dedicated to its own Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU), based in Beijing and Silicon Valley. Apollo is the main hub with its open-source autonomous driving platform which is launched in 2017 and termed as the “Android of the autonomous driving industry.” Robo taxi services were launched in the city two years after Waymo. Baidu teamed up with Chinese carmaker FAW Group, BAIC, King Long Motor Group, JAC Motor, and NIO for various partnerships.
Tesla: The early pioneer and leader in the driverless cars market are offering the solution from “Autopilot” and “Full Self-driving”. The second option contains more advanced autonomous features with only stop and goes adaptive cruise control with an automatic steering facility. Tesla also changed its partnership from Mobileye’s EyeQ3 for Nvidia’s Drive PX2 platform with an activation fee of $6000 for unlocking the full autonomy.
In my opinion, different technology and solutions are providing new opportunities and pathways for the customers to select which options are the best and also a paradigm of new possibilities with an AI algorithm. It also provides the opportunity to see which technology in a compact solution is a winner or the ultimate way of having a fully autonomous vehicle.