Who is Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?
Car companies have always been in heated competition, constantly trying to produce vehicles that outperform others in their class. Taking advantage of current trends and the latest technology is how these companies stay ahead. This includes the development of self-driving cars. When it comes to determining who is winning the self-driving car race, there are a few companies that are leading the pack.
Tesla is one of the best-known self-driving car companies, with its Autopilot project making repeated appearances in the news. Elon Musk is well-known for his determination and eagerness to push the envelope, which bodes well for the Autopilot. In the self-driving car race, data is key, and by just 2016, Tesla had already logged about 780 million miles of data. This much data is sure to give them a huge advantage.
While Tesla has brand recognition, Waymo has clear successes. Their cars have already driven over five million miles in 25 cities. Waymo also has an entire fleet of Chrysler minivans capable of navigating San Francisco streets. Their data shows an incredibly low rate of disengagement (incidents when a human engineer or driver had to manually control the steering wheel), especially when compared to the Tesla. California tests also resulted in fewer accidents than other companies; just three collisions in over 350,000 miles. Waymo’s goal is to begin a commercial passenger service using driverless vans by the end of 2018. If they achieve this goal, they could come out as the clear leader in the self-driving car race.
GM intends to launch a hailing ride project in 2019 using driverless cars. While they do not have the same real-world tests as Waymo, they do have a major investor. The extra cash invested into the company by SoftBank has allowed them to fully finance their self-driving car business. Another advantage GM has over the competition is their company-owned factory, just north of Detroit. This factory allows them to produce self-driving cars at a lower manufacturing cost, which is likely going to be reflected in the final sticker price.
Even cars that drive themselves require regular maintenance to perform well. Bring your vehicle, self-driving or otherwise, in to see us at Greg’s Japanese Auto. We have over 30 years of experience ensuring that drivers like you can continue to enjoy their vehicle’s strong performance on the road. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule your maintenance appointment today.