The driverless vehicle market is different from the traditional market of the automotive industry opened a pathway for many technologically advanced companies.
A sector that was highly dominated by mechanical engineers or other auto experts is now getting dominated by the best programmers or engineers working in the sensors and electrical field.
The knowledge of the automotive parts is important. However, level 4 or level 5 Driverless vehicles are completely a programmer’s work to capture most of the real-time scenario and produce a fact-based environment.
The venture also opens the competition between the traditional car manufacturer and the high-tech advanced autos. Who wins the race of the engineers between the developers or the traditional manufacturers?
Apple: A huge amount of investment has been involved in machine learning and automation to develop self-driven cars where the internal project is known as Titan. The company is involved in self-driving test vehicles in California and with VW to manufacture the mass scale of self-driving vehicles. A record of 3rd largest fleet in self-driving test vehicles in California is owned by Apple. As per the latest news, 143 pilots are owned by Apple for their autonomous system evaluations on Lexus SUVs that are equipped with self-driving technology.
Microsoft: As one of the pioneers in the software development field, the approach Microsoft is collaborating with car companies so that their autonomous technologies can be implemented. The solutions provided by Microsoft in such cars are Azure cloud platform, Office 365, and the Windows operating system, and the software solution is provided for Ford, Kia, BMW, Nissan, and Fiat.
Intel-Mobileye: The company is pushing the sector to be beaten up by companies like NXP and Nvidia for supplying automotive silicon and autonomous processing power. BMW Group and Mobileye forces are joined in self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts to be a real solution.
Waymo (Google): Among the software-based companies, Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, is the parent company of Google is a top contender in the list of autonomous vehicle companies where the company is focused on driverless cars technologies. Waymo cars got 1 billion simulated miles of test-driving vehicles in 2016.
NVIDIA: It is the leading chip-makers in the autonomous vehicle industry where self-driving vehicles from Audi, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, and Tesla are their major customers. Continental is also among the major companies using the graphic processor designer computing system to build the technology platform in its own self-driving vehicles. Engineers are working to integrate Nvidia’s Xavier DRIVE system-on-a-chip with its DRIVE OS and software stack with Continental’s ASIL-D security certification, and radar, camera, and LiDAR sensor for building autonomous driving solutions.
Samsung: The company’s self-driving cars are mostly Hyundai vehicles equipped with cameras and sensors. The company’s main competition is Apple.
Huawei: The Chinese telecommunication giant proves that the mobile network operators are valuable for the connected car space as it includes smart parking, fleet management, data related to in-car entertainment, LTE-based emergency services, and much more. It will be an interesting side of telecommunication sectors and how they venture into the AV markets. They are in a partnership with Audi for level 4 technology.
Baidu: Another Chinese Google corporation to ramping up its initiatives in autonomous cars since 2014, once opened its first AI lab in Silicon Valley. It is dedicated to Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU) based in Beijing and Silicon Valley to take care of autonomous car efforts.
In my opinion, venturing from the different technology companies and having the partnership to provide the necessary aid in filling out the gap is something helping the race to AV market and competition to flow smoothly.
The important thing to watch in the future is how many of these ventures are going to be a success on the roads and profitable for the company. The scenario is interesting with Level 4 or level 5 Autonomous vehicles as the market is getting intense and it is not just in the simulation environment.
If I compare semi-autonomous, electric, and autonomous vehicles, then somehow electric and fully autonomous vehicles are conquering the road.