Share

Articles - Archive

08/09/2017
31 projects by 31 different firms involved in designing fully autonomous vehicles (from Nissan to Uber)

Start-up Italy! 

 

Google, Uber, Tesla, Microsoft, 31 companies are currently working on self-driving cars 

Giancarlo Donadio

 

 

 

 

Google is most certainly not the only firm looking at investing in autonomous cars. A host of other multinational companies are, in fact, hard at work in this future line of business. CB Insights draws up the ranking of all the main actors currently involved in building their very own driverless vehicles. 31 of them; some with independent projects, others through partnerships. Here is a list of them:

 

1. Apple                                                                                 

Not much is known about Apple’s driverless project. No public announcement yet, but many indiscretions. “Titan” is the name of the project and currently involves a team of 1,000 specialists, many of which from companies such as Tesla and Volkswagen. The declared goal is to launch the first electric car by 2019 and then work on a fully autonomous model. After Apple car boss Steve Zadesky quit the company, though, a number of other ups and downs have recently been experienced.  

2. Audi

The A8 has been entrusted with all the driverless technology: it will be able to park itself and drive autonomously for 59,000 kilometres. Audi works under the aegis of the Volkswagen group and is also part of a consortium which includes Daimler and BMW.

3/4. Baidu and BMW

China’s largest search engine, Baidu, recently entered into a partnership with BMW on a project for a semi-autonomous vehicle. Both partners have been testing this technology on a BMW 3 series for 29thousand kilometres over Chinese roads. Furthermore, BMW also released a fully automated vehicle during the last CES show in Las Vegas to be commercialized under the brand BMW iNEXT.

5. Bosch

Following suit is also one of the largest automotive suppliers currently coordinating a team of 2,000 engineers to create a number of driverless systems, cooperating also with TomTom for all the necessary road map data. The company forecasts that the first driverless cars will hit the road by as early as 2020.  

6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Daf, Daimler, Iveco, Man, Scania

These are the companies involved in a rather ambitious project aimed at equipping future trucks with driverless technology. Platooning experiments have already been successfully performed in Sweden, Germany and Holland with one truck “controlling” the following ones via a wireless system. This will allow to have more trucks controlled by fewer drivers. But it is early days still, and drivers were still on board as a precautionary measure.

11. Delphi

Recently, yet another British automotive supplier created a network of software and sensors that can be adapted to vehicles currently in circulation transforming them into autonomous vehicles. Delphi technology was used on an Audi SQ5 last April over 4,000 kilometres in the United States, driving over 99% of the way in autonomous mode. Moreover, in January, Delphi unveiled a new self-driving model during the CES show in Las Vegas.

12. Ford

Back in 2015, the American multinational had already announced a plan (Smart Mobility Plan) with a special focus on autonomous driving. A separate division, Ford Smart Mobility LLC, stemmed from the project a little over two months ago. The preliminary tests were performed in demanding conditions such as snow clad or poorly lit roads to test the system’s  efficiency. 

13. General Motors

This historical American company, created in 1908, has always been quite aggressive in the hi-tech segment. Following the acquisition of Sidecar, investments in the region of 500thousand dollars were also made in Lyft, two successful transportation network start-ups. Soon after, GM bought yet another start-up, Cruise Automation, which focuses on driverless technology and has recently developed an autonomous driving system that will be available on new Cadillac models as early as next year.

14. Google

Google X launched one of the sector’s most ambitious programs following numerous tests and a dedicated website. Furthermore, last September Google hired John Krafcick to head the program and find the best marketing solutions. Different tests were performed in Mountain View, Phoenix and Washington. A few issues still remain to be solved, and to date, it still isn’t clear whether Google will choose to produce driverless vehicles independently or through a partnership with an external company. Several doubts still hover over the official launch date expected in 2020.

15. Honda

The Japanese multinational giant has recently been granted approval by the State of California to test its driverless vehicles over state roads. Meanwhile, Honda has already introduced a number of ADAS systems on some of its models, such as automatic braking and cruise control systems.

16. Hyundai                                                                                   

The Korean car manufacturer has greatly increased its investments in the field of Artificial Intelligence creating a dedicated business unit dedicated to developing hyper-connected vehicles at present and self-driving cars in the future. Recently, Thomas Schmid, Head of Europe Business, stated that driverless cars, as a business, will take a foothold no sooner than 10 – 15 years from now. Such declarations have been considered by some as quite a step back.

17. Jaguar Land Rover

In 2015, Wolfgang Epple, Head of the company’s R&D Unit, clearly stated that fully automatic vehicles fall well within the company’s philosophy, since passengers have never been considered as mere “loads” to be carried from A to B. So, in 2016, the group joined a program (Move-Uk, three years in the making and investments for over 7 million pounds) to develop new technologies. The research project was soon joined also by Bosch and a few British companies such as Te Floow, specialized in insurance data management.  

18. Mercedes – Benz

Last January Mercedes disclosed its plans to create driverless vehicles to be launched on the market in 15 years. At the same time, further steps have been taken in the same direction. In fact, as early as 2013 Mercedes tested its semi-autonomous cars on German motorways for 96 km, while a number of models are already equipped with “Stop-and-Go” systems that facilitate driving in traffic without having to touch steering wheel and pedals.

19. Microsoft

Microsoft too, albeit a little later than the competition, has been investing resources in the sector. Its strategy appears to be centred on establishing partnerships such as the one with Volvo, and more recently, in 2016, with Toyota to develop new vehicles and new connectivity services.

20. Mobileye

As a 9 billion dollar automotive supplier, Mobileye is responsible for creating most of the chips used on semi-autonomous vehicles such as Tesla. The company recently announced plans to start a fully-autonomous production line.

21 e 22. Nissan e Renault

Recently, during the New York International Auto Show, both CEOs announced a number of vehicles with various autonomous features by 2020. Nissan, for example, has already been testing for some time now, a semi-autonomous Nissan Leaf around Tokyo. Meanwhile, a few days ago, both Nissan and Toyota announced a joint effort in developing new intelligent maps.  

23. Nvidia

Famous for its graphic processing units and motherboards, the American company surprised everyone unveiling its very own Semi-autonomous platform. A supercomputer able to support all the necessary elements present in driverless vehicles, as The Next Web explains. 

24. PSA Group

In April, the PSA group (which includes Peugeot, Citroën and DS) announced that two Citroëns drove autonomously from Paris to Amsterdam for 300 km in what is commonly called “eyes off” mode, destined to hit the market by 2021.

25. Tata ELIXSI

Elixsi, a division of the TATA group, an Indian multinational giant active in a number of fields, recently presented a system to create “smart” parking areas where “smart” vehicles will communicate with sensors located throughout the parking grounds and actually park in self-driving mode. According to a number of analysts this is a clear signal of the growing interest by the Indian giant towards autonomous vehicles.

26. Tesla

The electric car company was one of the true pioneers in the field. Reason for which Musk has already developed an auto-pilot software that has been tested on the Model S, one of the latest to be launched on the market. The new Model 3 will feature enhanced semi-autonomous systems.

27. Toyota

Last year, the Japanese manufacturer invested a large part of its resources on autonomous vehicles. And to do this it went even as far as hiring scientists and research teams  from Stanford and MIT, and announced a new partnership with the University of Michigan.

28. Uber

Travis Kalanick’s alternative transport multinational has also decided to enter the race. Among the most recent moves, one focused on taking over the entire Carnegie Mellon Robotics Lab, 40 Pittsburgh based engineers and researchers. A partnership with the University of Arizona was also established to create better and safer maps. In 2015 the company went on to complete the acquisition of deCarta, a start-up also very active in the field of maps. Indiscretions have it that Uber is now also planning the purchase of a number of semi-autonomous vehicles for its fleet, such as the 100,000 Mercedes Class S semi-autonomous cars the company has already ordered.

29. Volkswagen

Back in 2015, the V-Charge project was unveiled, a Volkswagen e-Golf equipped with sensors and 3D maps as well as automatic parking systems: the prototype is expected by 2019. Moreover, the group’s CEO announced that the entire board agrees on developing new technologies in this field. However, in the aftermath of the diesel-gate (alteration of CO2 levels) the company’s stock-market value was halved and this could affect future investments in new technologies. 

30. Volvo

Volvo too is working on driverless technologies in an effort to guarantee greater safety and reduce fatal accidents. “Intellisafe” is the first step and the Swedish manufacturer will offer 100 Swedish motorists the opportunity to test some of its models such as the XC9 SUV, a pilot project to test new semi-autonomous models which will be extended to include China and the US.

31. Yutong

The Chinese bus maker has been very active in the field since 2012. According to official announcements an autonomous bus has been tested in the province of Henan, China.

 

http://openinnovation.startupitalia.eu

 

Google is most certainly not the only firm looking at investing in autonomous cars. A host of other multinational companies are, in fact, hard at work in this future line of business. CB Insights draws up the ranking of all the main actors currently involved in building their very own driverless vehicles. 31 of them; some with independent projects, others through partnerships. Here is a list of them:

 

1. Apple                                                                                 

Not much is known about Apple’s driverless project. No public announcement yet, but many indiscretions. “Titan” is the name of the project and currently involves a team of 1,000 specialists, many of which from companies such as Tesla and Volkswagen. The declared goal is to launch the first electric car by 2019 and then work on a fully autonomous model. After Apple car boss Steve Zadesky quit the company, though, a number of other ups and downs have recently been experienced.  

2. Audi

The A8 has been entrusted with all the driverless technology: it will be able to park itself and drive autonomously for 59,000 kilometres. Audi works under the aegis of the Volkswagen group and is also part of a consortium which includes Daimler and BMW.

3/4. Baidu and BMW

China’s largest search engine, Baidu, recently entered into a partnership with BMW on a project for a semi-autonomous vehicle. Both partners have been testing this technology on a BMW 3 series for 29thousand kilometres over Chinese roads. Furthermore, BMW also released a fully automated vehicle during the last CES show in Las Vegas to be commercialized under the brand BMW iNEXT.

5. Bosch

Following suit is also one of the largest automotive suppliers currently coordinating a team of 2,000 engineers to create a number of driverless systems, cooperating also with TomTom for all the necessary road map data. The company forecasts that the first driverless cars will hit the road by as early as 2020.  

6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Daf, Daimler, Iveco, Man, Scania

These are the companies involved in a rather ambitious project aimed at equipping future trucks with driverless technology. Platooning experiments have already been successfully performed in Sweden, Germany and Holland with one truck “controlling” the following ones via a wireless system. This will allow to have more trucks controlled by fewer drivers. But it is early days still, and drivers were still on board as a precautionary measure.

11. Delphi

Recently, yet another British automotive supplier created a network of software and sensors that can be adapted to vehicles currently in circulation transforming them into autonomous vehicles. Delphi technology was used on an Audi SQ5 last April over 4,000 kilometres in the United States, driving over 99% of the way in autonomous mode. Moreover, in January, Delphi unveiled a new self-driving model during the CES show in Las Vegas.

12. Ford

Back in 2015, the American multinational had already announced a plan (Smart Mobility Plan) with a special focus on autonomous driving. A separate division, Ford Smart Mobility LLC, stemmed from the project a little over two months ago. The preliminary tests were performed in demanding conditions such as snow clad or poorly lit roads to test the system’s  efficiency. 

13. General Motors

This historical American company, created in 1908, has always been quite aggressive in the hi-tech segment. Following the acquisition of Sidecar, investments in the region of 500thousand dollars were also made in Lyft, two successful transportation network start-ups. Soon after, GM bought yet another start-up, Cruise Automation, which focuses on driverless technology and has recently developed an autonomous driving system that will be available on new Cadillac models as early as next year.

14. Google

Google X launched one of the sector’s most ambitious programs following numerous tests and a dedicated website. Furthermore, last September Google hired John Krafcick to head the program and find the best marketing solutions. Different tests were performed in Mountain View, Phoenix and Washington. A few issues still remain to be solved, and to date, it still isn’t clear whether Google will choose to produce driverless vehicles independently or through a partnership with an external company. Several doubts still hover over the official launch date expected in 2020.

15. Honda

The Japanese multinational giant has recently been granted approval by the State of California to test its driverless vehicles over state roads. Meanwhile, Honda has already introduced a number of ADAS systems on some of its models, such as automatic braking and cruise control systems.

16. Hyundai                                                                                   

The Korean car manufacturer has greatly increased its investments in the field of Artificial Intelligence creating a dedicated business unit dedicated to developing hyper-connected vehicles at present and self-driving cars in the future. Recently, Thomas Schmid, Head of Europe Business, stated that driverless cars, as a business, will take a foothold no sooner than 10 – 15 years from now. Such declarations have been considered by some as quite a step back.

17. Jaguar Land Rover

In 2015, Wolfgang Epple, Head of the company’s R&D Unit, clearly stated that fully automatic vehicles fall well within the company’s philosophy, since passengers have never been considered as mere “loads” to be carried from A to B. So, in 2016, the group joined a program (Move-Uk, three years in the making and investments for over 7 million pounds) to develop new technologies. The research project was soon joined also by Bosch and a few British companies such as Te Floow, specialized in insurance data management.  

18. Mercedes – Benz

Last January Mercedes disclosed its plans to create driverless vehicles to be launched on the market in 15 years. At the same time, further steps have been taken in the same direction. In fact, as early as 2013 Mercedes tested its semi-autonomous cars on German motorways for 96 km, while a number of models are already equipped with “Stop-and-Go” systems that facilitate driving in traffic without having to touch steering wheel and pedals.

19. Microsoft

Microsoft too, albeit a little later than the competition, has been investing resources in the sector. Its strategy appears to be centred on establishing partnerships such as the one with Volvo, and more recently, in 2016, with Toyota to develop new vehicles and new connectivity services.

20. Mobileye

As a 9 billion dollar automotive supplier, Mobileye is responsible for creating most of the chips used on semi-autonomous vehicles such as Tesla. The company recently announced plans to start a fully-autonomous production line.

21 e 22. Nissan e Renault

Recently, during the New York International Auto Show, both CEOs announced a number of vehicles with various autonomous features by 2020. Nissan, for example, has already been testing for some time now, a semi-autonomous Nissan Leaf around Tokyo. Meanwhile, a few days ago, both Nissan and Toyota announced a joint effort in developing new intelligent maps.  

23. Nvidia

Famous for its graphic processing units and motherboards, the American company surprised everyone unveiling its very own Semi-autonomous platform. A supercomputer able to support all the necessary elements present in driverless vehicles, as The Next Web explains. 

24. PSA Group

In April, the PSA group (which includes Peugeot, Citroën and DS) announced that two Citroëns drove autonomously from Paris to Amsterdam for 300 km in what is commonly called “eyes off” mode, destined to hit the market by 2021.

25. Tata ELIXSI

Elixsi, a division of the TATA group, an Indian multinational giant active in a number of fields, recently presented a system to create “smart” parking areas where “smart” vehicles will communicate with sensors located throughout the parking grounds and actually park in self-driving mode. According to a number of analysts this is a clear signal of the growing interest by the Indian giant towards autonomous vehicles.

26. Tesla

The electric car company was one of the true pioneers in the field. Reason for which Musk has already developed an auto-pilot software that has been tested on the Model S, one of the latest to be launched on the market. The new Model 3 will feature enhanced semi-autonomous systems.

27. Toyota

Last year, the Japanese manufacturer invested a large part of its resources on autonomous vehicles. And to do this it went even as far as hiring scientists and research teams  from Stanford and MIT, and announced a new partnership with the University of Michigan.

28. Uber

Travis Kalanick’s alternative transport multinational has also decided to enter the race. Among the most recent moves, one focused on taking over the entire Carnegie Mellon Robotics Lab, 40 Pittsburgh based engineers and researchers. A partnership with the University of Arizona was also established to create better and safer maps. In 2015 the company went on to complete the acquisition of deCarta, a start-up also very active in the field of maps. Indiscretions have it that Uber is now also planning the purchase of a number of semi-autonomous vehicles for its fleet, such as the 100,000 Mercedes Class S semi-autonomous cars the company has already ordered.

29. Volkswagen

Back in 2015, the V-Charge project was unveiled, a Volkswagen e-Golf equipped with sensors and 3D maps as well as automatic parking systems: the prototype is expected by 2019. Moreover, the group’s CEO announced that the entire board agrees on developing new technologies in this field. However, in the aftermath of the diesel-gate (alteration of CO2 levels) the company’s stock-market value was halved and this could affect future investments in new technologies. 

30. Volvo

Volvo too is working on driverless technologies in an effort to guarantee greater safety and reduce fatal accidents. “Intellisafe” is the first step and the Swedish manufacturer will offer 100 Swedish motorists the opportunity to test some of its models such as the XC9 SUV, a pilot project to test new semi-autonomous models which will be extended to include China and the US.

31. Yutong

The Chinese bus maker has been very active in the field since 2012. According to official announcements an autonomous bus has been tested in the province of Henan, China.

 

http://openinnovation.startupitalia.eu

 

back to archive