It is a long road to seeing self-driving cars on regular roads as an everyday reality, but no less than 22 brands have cars being tested already. Perhaps there are even more. But the buzz of having fully autonomous vehicles on roads has caught on and work is on in full swing to bring them to a road near you.
In the race are two categories of companies – traditional automobile makers on the one hand and software companies on the other. In some cases, two companies across both divides have partnered. Other alliances exist. Some traditional auto makers have even co-purchased software companies in order to push their self-driving car projects.
Below are two lists of all the companies currently testing self-driving cars on roads in cities around the world.
Auto Manufacturers Testing Self-Driving Cars
- Volvo: The Swedish auto-maker has been aggressive in pushing self-driving vehicles.
Road tests are already going on in Sweden and the UK.
- Tesla: If any brand is the poster boy of the self-driving revolution, it is Tesla.
It has carved out a name for itself and already has semi-autonomous cars on the road.
- Yutong: Yutong has been researching autonomous vehicles since 2012 and claims to have successfully navigated a bus on an inter-city road in Henan, China.
- Nissan: Nissan has been testing autonomous vehicles since October 2013.
- Ford: Ford is one of the brands on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles, with extensive testing going on in Arizona, Michigan, and California.
- Toyota: Toyota has been more laid-back about self-driving cars than the brands on the cutting edge of the technology. But they are investing more and more in AI research and development.
- General Motors GM has been testing autonomous vehicles and also acquired self-driving-car startup Cruise Automation in July 2016.
- Daimler: Part owner of HERE, Daimler has been testing its own autonomous vehicles in Nevada, California, as well as in Germany. As far back as August 2013, the autonomous Mercedes-Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive drove about 64 miles.
- Audi: This part owner of HERE was one of the first companies to receive an autonomous driving permit in Nevada in 2012 and later California in 2014. An Audi A7 drove 885 kilometres in 2015.
- BMW: A part owner of HERE, BMW has been testing autonomous driving technology for years now. It already has commercial cars with advanced driver assistance built in on the road.
- Hyundai: Hyundai hasn’t been very aggressive with autonomous cars. For now, the company is pushing advanced driver assistance systems in their vehicles.
- Bosch: A key partner to Tesla, Bosch is also testing their own setups in two states in the USA, as well as in Germany.
- PSA Groupe: This is the company behind brands like Peugeot, Citroën and DSFour. In one demonstration in 2016, four of PSA’s self-driving cars traveled the 580 kilometres between Paris and Bordeaux.
- Faraday Future: Like Tesla, Faraday is known for its forays into electric autonomous vehicles. In 2016, FF received a permit to test autonomous vehicles on the public roads in California.
- Delphi Delphi is an auto parts manufacturer but has been conducting extensive road tests of self-driving cars in partnership with Audi.
- Honda: Honda has been testing autonomous cars since 2015 in the USA.
Other Tech Brands Testing Self-Driving Cars
- Uber: Uber has road tests going on in both Arizona and Pittsburgh. While a high profile brand,
Uber is late to the game and keeps running into legal hitches.
- Baidu: Baidu already has cars on the road. The software company fitted out BMW 3-Series to drive an 30-kilometre long route in Beijing, China. Baidu is also in partnership with Ford.
- NuTonomy: In August 2016, it launched its autonomous taxi service, a first in the world, as a pilot project in Singapore.
- Samsung: The Korean giant recently received permit to test self-driving cars in its home country.
- Apple: Apple is late to the race and only recently received a permit to start testing self-driving car technology in California. Apple’s fitted Lexus RX450h has been spotted on the road though.
- Waymo: This is Google’s self-driving-car subsidiary. The company has done extensive road tests in partnership with auto makers.
There are other companies that have spoken about making the push for self-driving cars but who haven’t hit the road yet. There are others with more basic driver assisted systems in place. One thing is clear: the future of cars and road vehicles in general is self-driving systems. That future is near, yet quite some distance away.