Cars are an integral part of our society. Nowadays, with the recent rapid development in technology and a trend towards IoT integration for cars, there’s a prevalence of self-driving car ideas. Many companies are developing new technologies and making sure they create self-driving cars that are road-ready in the near future.
A few companies like Tesla already have cars with partial self-driving capabilities on the road now. The general purpose of these companies is to build a car that can sense its environment and can make decisions and changes without any human input.
These cars will use technologies like Computer Vision, lidar, radar, GPS, Odometry to sense its environment. Using these sensors and detectors the car will be able to avoid obstacles, cars and find the best possible route for itself.
The history of the autonomous vehicles started back in the early 1900s with Norman Bel Geddes. But the first functioning prototype can be found around the 1980s. Now you can find several companies striving to become the definitive self-driving car company in the market. Here are some of the self-driving car companies you should know about.
Navlab started its journey back in 1984 in the halls of Carnegie Mellon University. Their specialty since then has been working to build computer-controlled vehicles for automated and assisted driving.
They have a long track record of building cars that include self-driving or computer-assisted cars. You can find that they have built a lot of robot cars, SUVs, vans, and buses. One of their latest development was on a Jeep Wrangler which came equipped with a host of different sensors that it uses to navigate and find the best route for the destination.
Google’s self-driving car project has been long since touted as something of a revolution in the industry. The Google cars are fitted with sensors that can detect every sort of object and obstacle two football fields away from every direction.
From pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles to fluttering plastic bags and even rogue birds. The computer system in the car comes equipped with software that processes all the information and then finds the best route for the vehicle. This is done without the risk of fatigue, illness or just a lapse in judgment and the system never gets distracted.
Tesla is one of Elon Musk’s passions. With an aim to replace gas human-driven cars with electronically driven autonomous vehicles Tesla has been leading the pack for a while. It was one of the first car companies on the road that had a driver-assist system installed called the Tesla AutoPilot.
The Tesla Model S comes equipped with a host of different technologies that allow for it to use the AutoPilot system. And it has the scope for further integration. Technologies like a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors that allow for continuously detect everything within 16 feet of the car from every direction at any speed, and a precision digitally controlled electric-assisted braking system make up its autopilot system. This has allowed Tesla to be a front runner in the race to be the definitive name in autonomous car development.
Renault’s Next Two
Renault debuted their prototype of self-driving technology back in 2014 called the Next Two. They combined driverless operations with hyper-connectivity to create a system that functions really well as the basis of an autonomous driving system. Renault’s initial target is to launch the first autonomous vehicle within 2020.
The car will have a front bumper with a radar built-in and a camera on the central view mirror. The radar will allow the car to sense its environment. With the radar, the car will be able to judge the distance and the speed of the vehicle in front while the camera will help the car properly align itself on the lane.
The system also has an ultrasound belt wrapping. All the components are controlled and monitored by a central system that also protects the car from taking in contradictory commands.
Since the 1990s Toyota has been hard at work in developing its self-driving technology. Mobility Teammate Concept is the name for the project they are developing. With an aim to ensure the communication and symbiosis between man and car is seamless Toyota has finished its first prototype.
The Prototype Highway Teammate which is a Lexus GS has successfully been deployed meeting all the criteria for a successful run from on-ramp to off-ramp. The system basically allows assisting for merging onto or exiting highways, maintaining and changing lanes, and maintaining a safe distance between cars.
Audi has been developing a self-driving system for a long time. The company has been testing its system all over the world in testing facilities for the last 15-16 years. From rigorous testing methods to software updates Audi has maintained complete focus in developing the driver-assisted system.
This system has been implemented in many of their models and has proven to be an amazing feature. Features like adaptive cruise control and active lane assist set new industry standards when introduced.
Volvo started working on the project with customer surveys back in 2014 and has since developed the Drive Me project.
The system is a complete IntelliSafe Autopilot technology that allows plenty of support during driving. The new XC90 has the technology installed for you with assisted braking.
The Autonomous Future
So there you go, these are the 7 self-driving car companies that you should know about. There are many other companies that are working to bring the autonomous car fully to life. This is the future of transportation.
The world will be rid of a lot of unnecessary deaths when this happens. The companies on this list have already some models on the road with some sort of self-driving technology. And it is estimated that the world will have fully autonomous vehicles within 2025. So keep an eye out on the next development from the companies.
With that being said it’s time to bring this discussion to a close. Let us know in the comments below which company’s technology you are most excited about? Also, send us your thoughts and suggestions on what we should do next. Your feedback is valuable to us as it allows us to better tailor the content to your liking so do let us know. Till then, Adios!