A driverless car which can also be called autonomous vehicles or self driving cars that has sensors, cameras, radar and LiDAR as the case may be. This is to enable the vehicle to run on the road safely like any normal car would with little or no human interference.
Many businesses are working on developing self-driving cars and technologies for all forms of autonomous vehicles. However, some people have more real-world testing and practical experience than others.
Apple just revealed that a self-driving car will be available to users by 2024. Amazon, on the other hand, recently purchased the robo taxi start-up suits.
In this post, we’ll look at a few firms that have made significant development in the field of autonomous driving, commonly known as driverless cars.
When it comes to autonomous vehicles, Waymo is far ahead of the competition in terms of the number of driverless cars in operation, the number of kilometers travelled in the real world, and the sophistication of its technology. It was formed in 2009, and Alphabet with Google as the parent company owns it.
Waymo deployed cameras and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology. It also uses radar sensors as its principal self-driving technology. For autonomous functionality, it also uses microphones to detect sirens from emergency vehicles.
In Phoenix, Arizona, the company now operates autonomy level 4 robo taxis, the majority of which have a person up front acting as a backup driver. Concurrently, prototype testing of fully autonomous level 5 driverless cars is going underway.
In comparison to other cities across the world, the San Francisco-based company chose Arizona for its taxi service because of the great weather conditions, traffic, and surroundings. However, in order to acclimate its vehicles to winter and other climates, Waymo has established additional testing facilities in Michigan and California.
Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, which was created in 2013, has the world’s second largest autonomous fleet. Cruise, along with Honda Motor and Softbank, is mainly owned by GM.
They have driven over 2 million miles thus far. Although the majority of the company’s vehicles appear to be normal Chevrolet bolt hatchbacks, 40% of their parts have been modified for self-driving.
Unlike other autonomous vehicle firms, cruise is intimately connected with one of the world’s top automakers, GM, which allows it to construct driverless cars on a Michigan assembly line capable of producing hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year.
Certainly, GM’s 111-year history and experience in automobile production offers it a significant advantage over dozens of other competitors. These include computer businesses such as Apple, which may be more intelligent than their competitors but have less expertise with real-world driving and road endurance. In San Francisco, the business has lately begun testing completely autonomous vehicles.
The new testing comes less than two months after the California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Cruise permission to remove human backup drivers from its self-driving cars.
The Argo Ai start-up from Ford Motor Company was created in 2016 and is now testing its 100 vehicles in at least six cities across the United States. Although Ford and Volkswagen both hold 40% of the Pennsylvania-based company, it is still theoretically a separate entity.
Unlike other self-driving car startups, Ford and Volkswagen do not expect Argo Ai to build its own vehicles. Instead, they want Argo to make self-driving technology for other companies, starting with fleet-based services like robo taxis and delivery companies.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is a constant contender for the top spot in the autonomous vehicle market. Tesla does, in fact, have more production vehicles on the road capable of advanced levels of autonomy than any other company.
Elon Musk, on the other hand, has been outspoken about his cars exclusion of light detection and LiDAR technology. Despite the fact that practically every other automaker marketing self-driving cars uses it, this is the case.
Tesla instead relies on ultrasonic radar and two-dimensional cameras to enable it’s driverless car operations.
Tesla has approximately 600,000 production vehicles on the road worldwide, with a total mileage of over 2 billion miles. Elon Musk has a lot of expertise with autonomous vehicles, with some of them reaching level 5 with prototypes.
Founded in 2014, California based start up Zoox was acquired by Amazon for more than 1 billion dollars in 2020.
Zoox is staking their claim in both the autonomous vehicles market and on demand mobility developing vehicles that can drive on both city streets and freeways while maintaining the safety of their passengers.
Their end goal is to create a fleet of independently operating cars that can serve cities as an on demand transportation option.
Zoox unveiled it’s fully driverless car recently as a taxi. The four passenger all electric taxi would be a good solution for shuttling people through parks and college campuses.
China’s Baidu has over 300 autonomous test vehicles on Chinese highways, with over two million kilometers travelled in 23 cities.
Baidu began as a search engine, but it quickly expanded into other businesses. China’s market for driverless cars and mobility services is expected to be worth $500 billion by 2030. Baidu has partnered with Chinese automakers to implement the driverless car technology into their vehicles.
Baidu, like Waymo, has launched a robo taxi service in China’s Hunan region to demonstrate and test its vehicles. These vehicles will function at level 4 with a driver present but not active, similar to Waymo’s service. Baidu claims that completely autonomous level 5 operation will be available by 2025.