“According to the recent research report, the demand of global Autonomous Cars Market size & share expected to reach to USD 64.88 Billion by 2026 from USD 23.33 Billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7% during the forecast period 2021 to 2026”
This report highlights:
An autonomous car is one that can sense its surroundings and drive itself without the help of humans. It is not required for a human passenger to assume control of the car at any point, nor is it necessary for him or her to be in the vehicle at all. A self-driving automobile can go wherever a standard car can go and perform any task that a skilled human driver can. Autonomous vehicles now allow non-drivers and those with certain disabilities to travel independently. They allow travellers to travel in greater luxury and flexibility, letting them read, rest, or even work while on the road, increasing efficiency. Radar, sonar, LIDAR, GPS, and inertial estimation units are some of the sensors used by cars to identify their current situation without the assistance of anyone else. Cutting-edge control frameworks decode tangible data, such as roadblocks and basic signage, to determine suitable route courses. The autonomous vehicle will transform the automobile industry.
Market Leaders to Watch
Companies at the forefront include:
Alphabet/ Waymo – Headquartered in Mountain View California, Waymo is a developer of a self-driving technology designed to offer on-demand riding services that make it convenient for people and things to move around. The company’s services employ integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to detect pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles and road works, enabling users to have a safe and enjoyable on-demand traveling experience in autonomous vehicles. The company has over 2,000 employees and has had significant capital injected recently raising $2.5 billion for the continued advancement of its autonomous driving technology. According to the investor website PitchBook, the company is valued at just over $30 billion. Waymo is now a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google.
Amazon – Amazon acquired Zoox, an American autonomous vehicle company headquartered in California. The six-year-old startup is redefining mobility-as-a-service by developing a fully autonomous, purpose-built fleet designed for AI to drive and humans to enjoy – and over $1B was invested into Zoox. Amazon has also invested in other autonomous driving startups like Aurora, and Embark, further signalling their vision for last mile delivery robots, and sidewalk bots to carry small packages to customer homes.
Refraction AI – Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the USA is a developer of an autonomous logistics robot designed to provide safe and scalable last-mile goods delivery in urban areas. The company’s robotic can navigate using camera sensors, operate in the traditional car and bike lanes and pick up goods from places like: restaurants, pharmacies and grocery stores, enabling businesses to streamline and optimize mobility and deliveries. The company is privately held and recently secured its Series A financing of $4.2M USD and has 33 employees based on Pitchbook data.
Aptiv – formerly named Delphi is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, and also acquired Boston-based self-driving car startup NuTonomy, a few years back. Delphi is a GM spinoff based in the UK and has been making market leads into markets like Singapore. They have a very ambitious plan to reduce the cost of self-driving cars, hardware and software costs which are between $75,000 and $150,000, which is prohibitive to the wide adoption of the technology by consumers and have a plan that by 2025, self-driving costs will come down to about $5,000 because of technology developments and (higher) volume. purchases. Let’s see what unfolds -but Aptiv is definitely worth tracking. The company is also publicly traded – sticker symbol APTV,
AutoX – Headquartered in San Jose, CA, venture backed, AutoX is a developer and manufacturer of autonomous driving technology-based self-driving vehicles intended to handle the challenging and dynamic traffic scenarios in urban cities around the world. The company uses artificial intelligence, cameras and other low-cost sensors to provide safe, reliable and affordable autonomous delivery, enabling users to react rapidly and make self-driving decisions as well as make their everyday lives more convenient. The company has over 120 employees.
Optimus Ride – Headquartered in Boston the company is a developer of self-driving technology systems designed to enable efficient, sustainable, and equitable mobility networks for geofenced environments. The company’s technology combines advances in complex sensor fusion, mapping, computer vision, and machine learning, enabling customers to use transportation from commercial vessel operations to transit options. The company is privately held, venture backed, and has over 180 employees.
Asia -Driverless Cars
I would be remiss if I did not highlight Asian driverless manufacturers as well, and mention: Baidu which is the clear leader, with others like: WeRide and AutoX plus ride-hailing operator Didi. Baidu operates China’s largest AV testing fleet, with nearly 200 vehicles, and has partnerships with over 100 third parties, including automakers, through its Apollo program.
UK – Driverless Cars
Although the UK is not leading in driverless cars yet, there are a number of companies forging ahead in this sector, including: Flourish, Five.ai, Jaguar, Oxbotica, StreetDrone, Wayve, and Zenzic. It is noteworthy is that he UK government wants to be at the forefront of rolling out autonomous driving technology and the transport ministry forecasts by 2035 around 40% of new UK cars could have self-driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs. Special Mention: The UK government in April 2021, announced that it will regulate the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways, with the first such cars possibly appearing on public roads as soon as this year. This was a major development in advancing driverless cars to go more mainstream. Britain’s transport ministry is updating its country’s highway code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems, starting with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) , which use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, allowing them to accelerate and brake without driver input.
Driverless Cars – Value Perspectives
There are many reasons why Self Driving Cars can advance effective safety as long as we can get the engineering and ethical constructs right – there is one of our biggest challenges, as to who to save or not to save? Underpinning driverless cars, are sophisticated AI software and intelligence monitoring, smart camera systems, and just imagine the cyber security risks of a hack across an entire automotive network – developing audit and ongoing self-monitoring and human monitoring systems will be key to advancing the safety and regulations of this industry.
McKinsey and Company has reported that self-driving cars will decrease car accidents by up to 90%, prevent up to $190 billion in damages and health-costs annually, and save thousands of lives. Autonomous cars are programmed to obey all traffic laws. Self-driving cars are never distracted by their phones when driving, nor do they drive drunk or fall asleep. Autonomous cars are excellent at detecting and avoiding obstacles and have stronger visual acuity than the human eye on bad roads. Autonomous cars have a 360-degree view of their surroundings and can process significantly more information than any human. Autonomous cars have the potential to prevent 90% of collisions, saving about 30,000 lives annually in the United States. These are all excellent reasons to keep advancing forward – wisely.
My next Forbes article will zoom in on ethical aspects of driverless cars. In the meantime, as a board director, or as a CEO, where you have vehicles involved in your business model, especially in the transportation and logistics industry, participating in early projects to learn about these rapidly emerging areas will be an important evolution of your business models. Even investing in these emerging players opens up tremendous returns for your future growth and success. Every large transportation and logistics company should have a venture arm to make investments in AI, ML, and specific use cases that have IP and revenue generating potential. Always thinking ahead is key to your growth and success – and survivability over the long term.
Read More: Driverless Car Market Leaders Innovating The Transportation Industry