Above: Sci Fi movie Minority Report envisions a future of fast-moving networked cars
We’re one week out from the Detroit Auto show, 2016, which I’ll be attending. In this new market, many established auto manufactures have shown prototypes, made pronouncements, while young upstarts release their vehicles at CES, all while partnerships between established tech startups and traditional players are announced with great fanfare.
This new Autonomous World has evolved from the Collaborative Economy movement: Uber, Lyft, Didi, Ola, BlaBla have all taught us that we don’t need to own a car to achieve mobility. We can summon a car, on-demand, using an app, whisking us away to our location, without the frets of parking, the stress of driving, and associated management woes of vehicle support. The tenant of “access over ownership” is also driving the Autonomous Vehicle movement, the pains of managing a car can dissipate.
Before we move forward we must acknowledge when companies announce self-driving features, there’s a wide range of features, from driver assist (like helping to park) to autopilot features (auto slowing when a traffic jam is spotted ahead) to full autonomous like Google’s car –which lacks any steering wheel or pedals, learn about the four different phases of self driving maturity in this industry-referenced graph.
The purpose of this post is to aggregate the numerous self-driving car deployments in the industry show the acceleration as the next phase of technology disruption. At Crowd Companies, we’re hosting an event for our members, and launching a premium report that will answer questions on what the business models are of the future, when robots are more efficient than humans. To track this movement, I’ll aggregate (with your help) the players quickly moving into this Autonomous Vehicle market, listed in date order:
Autonomous Vehicle Arms Race Timeline:
While many car companies have secret prototypes testing away from prying eyes, the criteria of this will seek publicly referenced articles from credible source that include testing announcements, spotted prototypes or full blown unveilings.
- 2012: Google tests self-driving cars in Silicon Valley, other reports indicate earlier
- Jan 2015: Audi send self-driving car on 550 mile journey
- Jan 2015: BMW demos auto valet features at CES
- Mar 2015: Mercedes self-driving car spotted in SF
- Mar 2015: Suburu is documented for self stopping to assist drivers
- May 2015: Uber’s self driving car spotted in Pittsburg
- June 2015: Google’s “Panda” car testing on Silicon Valley roads
- Sept 2015: Honda gets approval to test self driving cars
- Oct 2015: Yamaha unleashes Motobot, self driving motorcycle
- Oct 2015: Tesla unveils auto pilot features for some existing vehicles
- Oct 2015: Volvo announced Intellisafe, and forecasts mainstream rollout by 2017
- Nov 2015: Ford announces testing of self driving cars in MCity
- Dec 2015: Kia and Hyundai to test self-driving cars in Nevada
- Dec 2015: Internet giant Baidu launches self driving car prototype
- Jan 2016: GM invests in $500m in Lyft, prepares for self driving fleet.
- Jan 2016, Faraday Future unveils their prototype car, with self-driving features
- Jan 2016: Kia announces $2B into self driving program, to roll out in coming years
- Expected players to emerge include Apple, who the press murmur will unveil a self driving electric vehicle.
- My post on VentureBeat: Auto industry goes head-to-head with Silicon Valley’s self-driving innovators
A quick analysis indicates: the deployments are coming from three groups: 1) Established mainstay auto manufactures, 2) Upstart players, like Tesla, Faraday, 3) Tech startups like Baidu, Google, Uber, and supposedly Apple. There’s a variety of deployments from simple self valet parking, driver assist features, to full freeway driving management.
If you’ve updates, you can leave a comment below, or tweet at me at @jowyang, so we can collaboratively keep this list going, to show the acceleration of this arms race.
If you want to learn how these technology disrupt business models from hospitality, logistics, health and wellness, short haul airlines, insurance and more, this post outlines the major changes coming. The biggest question, which we plan to ask and answer is: “What role to humans play, when robots do it better?”
Welcome my friends, to the Autonomous World.