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As the race for autonomous vehicles is getting tighter, some huge monetary benefits would be accrued by those who eventually made it to the finish line. According to research data from Allied Market Research, the self-driving market is projected to grow from $54.23 billion to approximately $555.67 billion in just 7 years.
Waymon motors, a subsidiary of Google, took the lead in the race for self-driving cars in December 2019. But then, a large number of auto-companies are far pursuing Waymo in the race. There are a lot of autonomous car makers in the U.S., and they have been widely speculated to begin their lunching of autonomous cars.
Let’s now delve further and look into the companies that have thus far been interested in this disruptive technology.
Apple is not very vocal when it concerns issues of its self-driving car research, but there are certain speculations that it is actively doing massive research in this area. And this is reinforced by the leak of a particular document obtained in 2015 by The Guardian. The document indicates the involvement of Apple in one Project Titan initiative.
This reticent Project was brought to a halt in early 2019 after Apple sacked more than two hundred from that division. But the Project kick-started some months after Apple bought the autonomous start-up Drive.ai. The company struggled to stay afloat for a while, and when it couldn’t contain the pressure it was facing, Apple later acquired it. The Apple self-driving car company, based in California, has a net worth of $200 million as of 2017. However, the price for which it was purchased has not been made public.
Apple has recently experimented with some Lexus RX450h SUV cars ridden with radar sensors and LIDAR in California.
The CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, stated that in 2 years, every Tesla car would be completely autonomous. The company also claims that the Tesla autonomous car would sprout a revolution in the auto world. The company already has a partially self-driving vehicle called the Tesla’ S’ model. These cars can train other cars using highly efficient ‘deep learning’ algorithms transmitted and analyzed with the aid of a fleet of sensors.
The Motional, a joint venture of Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, founded in 2020, is trying to create a world-class autonomous system that puts safety first. Motional has partnered with prominent ridesharing firms like Uber, Via, and Lyft to make autonomous taxiing a reality as soon as possible. The company’s technology depends on LiDAR, camera, and radar sensors working together to guarantee failure is not an option.
Thanks to the new open-source planning dataset, researchers at Motional will better understand how a driverless car can navigate a dynamic environment, including driving in the city like a human driver. The nuPlan data collection, according to Motional, is the world’s first benchmark for autonomous vehicle planning.
A Sweden-based company, Volvo, is also in this race to make one of the best self-driving systems. The company uses Nvidia AGX Xavier to drive its recent Level 2 autonomous car. Volvo plans on starting a large-scale production of self-driving vehicles. This combined technology will help the Volvo car keep track of the surroundings and drivers and apply recent autonomous drive technology, in-car customization options, energy management technology, and specific connectivity series to improve the car’s efficiency.
Uber and Volvo have entered a partnership to make autonomous vehicles in the past till Aurora Innovation acquired Uber’s self-driving unit. It has also entered partnerships with many other top-notch tech start-ups keenly interested in the self-driving system to make its dream of being one of the top self-driving car manufacturers a feasible reality.
In 2022, the next generation of Volvo’s flagship crossover, the XC90, will be outfitted with Orin two years before Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. More Volvo cars using the same underpinnings as the XC90, including Orin, are slated to follow.
The Cruise team is merging self-driving car technology with ridesharing to give users on-demand autonomous transportation alternatives that are cleanly engineered to cut fuel pollution. The company’s automotive goods are combined with cutting-edge robotics and A.I. technology. They are subjected to extensive simulation testing before being released to guarantee that they follow road regulations and safety procedures precisely.
Waymo is arguably one of the auto-companies at the forefront of achieving the autonomous driving dream. The company, a subsidiary of Alphabet, became one of the first auto-companies to provide a public Robotaxi system with autonomous systems. The name of the Robotaxi is Waymo One, and it was launched in Arizona, the U.S., in 2018. Ever since then, Waymo has been making headlines about its self-driving cars and has been projected by some people to be one of the auto-companies that would achieve the envious feat in the race for self-driving cars. Waymo has also created a method of monetizing the services it provides.
Recently, the company started selling its LIDAR technology to a host of other auto companies. The Project is claimed to have succeeded, bringing in untold returns.
Uber is serious in this race for producing the best self-driving cars that will buy the confidence of most people. The company has collectively spent more than a billion dollars on its self-driving cars unit to attest to this fact. This unit alone is estimated to be worth about 7.25 billion dollars.
Uber recently released its autonomous vehicle partnership with Toyota to bring innovation after selling the previous unit to Aurora.
Uber’s autonomous trucks are also being experimented within Arizona, and the company further plans to acquire a lot of autonomous vehicles from Volvo.
AutoX is developing an autonomous transportation system to move people and products through China’s most difficult highways. The company’s self-driving platform can handle a variety of vehicle sizes and is presently in use in Shenzen, Shanghai, Wuhan, Wuhu, and Silicon Valley.
Mercedes, in recent times, have formed a team with its long-time rival BMW to make autonomous vehicle technology. These two German auto-giants initially set their gaze on making technologies for parking features, self-driving on highways, and driver assistance systems they aim to sell.
Mercedes announced that it would launch self-driving Robotaxis in 2022. The company has obtained recommendations and licenses to experiment with its autonomous cars on major roads in China, the USA, and Germany. This made it the first foreign company that was given a permit to experiment with its self-driving cars on major roads. Mercedes also created a partnership with Bosch on an autonomous vehicle pilot that they intend in Silicon Valley. They built an “Automated Valet Parking” system that moves a vehicle from a tight space to an area with relatively free space in a garage at the click of an app in a smartphone.
Mercedes was and remained one of the auto-companies that aggressively promote self-driving systems. Mercedes asserts that its pilot system in its Museum is the first to enable a solution to a driverless park service and automated drive-up.
ABB delivers several technologies for self-driving vehicles and solutions for various applications such as PLC automation, analytics measurement platforms, low voltage products, power electronics, and more. Industrial automation, robotics, and electrification are among ABB’s numerous areas of competence, and the company’s global reach is maintained through operations in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and others.
The partnership between BMW and Mercedes to build a self-driving system is one of the most recent in the stories of the self-driving cars project. BMW has also partnered with Mobileye and Intel to build self-driving BMWs and has invested considerable sums in the autonomous start-up Nauto. Other auto-giants like Toyota and General Motors have likewise entered this partnership.
BMW and Baidu also developed a specially tailored car for the Chinese market, but this partnership was later called off. This is widely reported due to the differences between the ideologies of the tow car companies, and a statement attributed to the CEO of BMW later confirmed it. Self-driving technology such as intelligent parking and the Driver Assistance System has already been used in some BMW vehicles.
Allstate launched Arity, which has evaluated over 30 billion miles of driving to date. Arity uses cutting-edge big data skills to recognize traffic patterns in the transportation business, forecasting and reducing risk. The platform leverages the information it gathers to advise insurance, shared mobility, and automotive firms on the optimal risk-reduction strategies, an integral part of the self-driving equation.
At a show in Las Vegas, Nvidia made the bold statement that it is the world’s first commercially producing Level 2 self-driving system. Their system effectively includes a series of AI-powered technologies such as self-driving recognition, which the company states will monitor autonomous cars. Reuters, in January 2018, stated that about 320 companies are making effective use of the Nvidia Drive system to speed up their production of self-driving vehicles.
Nvidia has also been working with a start-up at Silicon Valley, Aurora, to produce a new autonomous driving platform for its hardware.
Zoox, founded in 2014, is claiming a position in both the autonomous car and on-demand mobility markets, producing vehicles that can go on local streets and highways while preserving passenger safety. Their ultimate objective is to build a fleet of self-driving cars that provide on-demand transportation in cities.
Continental, a German auto-company, intends to add self-driving cars with delivery robots to make a highly lovable distribution system.
The company made this known in Las Vegas during a tech show. Continental makes use of the Continental Urban Experience (CUbE) self-driving cars to the most of its tour and then releases some form of Robo-delivery-dogs that would take the delivery package to the place where the recipient can pick it up.
Embark Trucks has a goal for the logistics industry: they want to send fleets of autonomous trucks and shipping vehicles without worrying about their safety on the road. The company’s staff focuses equally on efficiency and safety, designing self-driving trucks that can anticipate road hazards and protect goods as it travels to their final destination.
To accommodate rapid growth in the U.S. Sunbelt, Embark expands operations into Texas and recently opened a new autonomous trucking hub.
The company Toyota needs no introduction to the tech-inclined mind. The company partnered with Uber to usher in self-driving ridesharing to the auto-market by incorporating their high-tech systems into Toyota cars to be operated under Uber’s network.
This Japanese auto giant has also stated that it will invest approximately $3 billion to make a self-driving vehicle to usher the company into a new realm of advanced autonomous tech systems. Toyota is making a facility that would make this testing a reality.
Lyft has sold its autonomous vehicle section to a Toyota subsidiary, the latest in a string of deals that has shrunk the world of self-driving vehicles.
Lyft’s self-driving branch, Level 5, was purchased by Woven Planet Holdings, a Toyota company, for $550 million in cash, with $200 million paid to Lyft upfront. The remaining $350 million will be distributed to Lyft over five years. The ride-hailing business estimates it will save $100 million in non-GAAP expenditures per year, putting it in a better position to make a profit in the long run. Toyota has also promised to use Lyft’s fleet data and infrastructure for any commercial service that its Woven Planet subsidiary offers in the future.
Ford is also one of the top pursuers of the autonomous dream. The company has plans to launch its self-driving cars in 2022 entirely. Ford has been actively engaged in experimenting with its autonomous vehicles for more than a decade now, and it holds the record of being the first auto-company to test its self-driving car. The test occurred at Mcity, an environment at the University of Michigan.
To speed up and make sure that they start making good returns on opportunities, the company turned its autonomous vehicle project to an independent company named Ford Autonomous Vehicles.
The company has projected that it would invest about $4 billion in its self-driving Project to make one of the most efficient self-driving cars in the history of the auto world.
Unity Technologies creates 3D technology and virtual reality visualization solutions to assist businesses in making efficient physical navigation available to both people and devices. The company works with the automotive industry to improve operations using 3D interfaces, with projects ranging from interactive V.R. that allows automakers to test new technology before putting it on the road to machine learning training techniques that will help self-driving cars to evolve.
The Samsung subsidiary HARMAN and the Swiss car maker Rinspeed have birthed an idea that they trust would be found on the roads by 2025.
Rinspeed developed the Rinspeed SNAP system for the entire level 5 self-driving automobile, which has no steering. It consists of a detachable passenger and chassis that allows for a personalized user experience for entertainment or repose. The idea of SNAP got an award in Geneva International Motor Show, European Premiere award in May 2018.
Nauto uses A.I. to create their autonomous cars and supply technology to other firms in the sector to help them improve their vehicles. A fleet safety platform, driver behavior tracking alerts, built-in incident reporting, and predictive collision alerting systems are all included in their product portfolio.
Domino’s Pizza will begin delivering pizzas via Nuro driverless cars in Houston as part of a test program. According to the firm, “certain clients” in Houston who place a prepaid delivery order from its Woodland Heights location during specific days and hours will have their Pizza delivered by a Nuro R2 robot.
Talking about a top New York car maker, Volkswagen said it would partner with Aurora, a Silicon Valley start-up, to speed up its hope of creating an autonomous car shortly. Volkswagen intends to release autonomous taxis in several cities by 2022.
Also, it is interesting to note that Volkswagen also entered a partnership with Nvidia to make an intelligent system that would bring assistance features and convenience with its sensors situated both at the outside and inside of the car. This would be made possible with the aid of Nvidia’s IX platform.
With the first-generation Touareg, Volkswagen won the Grand Challenge in the United States in 2005, a race for autonomous cars over 220 kilometers. The Volkswagen Group’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University collaborated on the “Stanley” prototype. The development of autonomous driving has made significant progress. To date, all studies of the future I.D. family — the I.D., I.D. BUZZ, I.D. CROZZ, and I.D. VIZZION — has been proved to be completely automated. Depending on regulatory conditions, the first automobiles with a completely autonomous driving mode might be released in 2027.
With the rise in awareness and desire by most tech enthusiasts for the legalization of self-driving cars, it is a thing of a surety that this nascent technology will soon be on us. This has also prompted many independent car companies to develop systems that guarantee a smooth ride into the autonomous future.