The autonomous vehicle industry has been getting a lot of attention as of late. Self-driving cars and trucks are only a few years away, by the look of things. Although a lot of companies are working towards such a solution, the following 6 enterprises are expected to be among the first to deploy automated vehicles to consumers, according to a report by Navigant Research.
6. Volkswagen Group
In March of 2017, Volkswagen Group unveiled Sedric, their vision for self-driving cars. However, there is no steering wheels or pedals present and it operates solely through a control button interface. Although this is only a concept right now, it certainly looks futuristic and appealing. Unfortunately, the company did not provide an estimate as to when Sedric would see the light of day. Moreover, company CEO Mueller stated how the company will only have business models in place after 2025.
Although many people expected BMW to be among the first three companies to offer consumer-grade driverless vehicles, it appears the company still has a lot of work to do Even though BMW has demoed a working prototype of their driverless car, the company expects it to be ready by 2021 at the earliest.
If it is up to Daimler, the company will release their first consumer-grade driverless car by 2021. The company has recently inked a new deal with Bosch to collaborate on a new driverless car model. This news catapults Daimler to the number 4 spot in global rankings for companies expecting to bring their products to market in the near future. It is also worth noting Daimler recently struck a deal with Uber to partner on self-driving cars.
3. Renault-Nissan Alliance
It has to be said, Renault-Nissan Alliance has quite a lot of confidence in their driverless car project. In fact, the company will work in electric driverless cars moving forward, thanks to a research contract with Transdev. Moreover, the Alliance plans to launch a fleet of autonomous vehicles across the world through 2020, with the first vehicles coming to market in 2018. City-navigation autonomous vehicles are expected to become available in 2020.
2. General Motors
General Motors has made quite a few headlines earlier this year, as one of their driverless cars successfully navigated throughout San Francisco. Although there is some confusion as to how “driverless” this particular vehicle is, it is evident the company has made a lot of progress. Although the company remains very secretive about the technical specifications of their plan, it is evident GM is one of the market leaders when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
To some people, it will come as a surprise to find out Ford is the company with the best cars to bring driverless vehicles to consumers. This is made possible thanks to the company’s recent US$1bn investment in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company tasked with producing the software for the next generation of self-driving cars. Although Ford’s vehicles will not be ready before 2021, the company will be making money from licensing its software to other competitors well before then. That gives them a critical market advantage right now.
Note from the Author: Tesla has successfully released a suite of tools that enable driverless behavior for all models. So far, this hardware can be found in the Model 3, Model S, and Model X. However, this hardware should be seen as “driverless assisting”, rather than a full-fledged automated driverless experience. Moreover, there is no automatic emergency braking, lane holding, and collision warning available [except for a few cars] as of right now.
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