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Major Players In The Extremely Competitive Self Driving Car Market
posted on Sep 10 2014 by Gabe Grover
Major players in the extremely competitive market of the self driving car.
In 2012, Google announced that they successfully drove a fleet of twelve Google Cars over 300,000 miles without one accident.
Of course at the time, this was shocking news; a car, without a driver? What’s the point?
These questions are often asked but the answer is simple. Millions of people all over the world are unable to drive themselves from point A to point B, the blind, the paralysed or the elderly now have the chance to regain independence and roam freely without depending on unreliable public transport or someone to drive them around.
In a recent promotional video released by Google, Steve Mahan, one of the first individuals who got the chance to drive, (or sit) in Google’s incredible machine, who also happens to be completely blind, praises Google on how they have changed his life forever. As the car starts, Steve’s heard chuckling to himself, ‘I love it’ in shock to the sudden realisation of the magnitude of this product. Following the news, car companies across the world began throwing money at the technology, and now manufacturers from across the globe are, one by one, announcing their own autonomous vehicles.
From the east, Japanese manufacturer Honda, have recently announced that they themselves will be releasing an autonomous vehicle. Currently a prototype running on a Acura RLX, Honda's setup looks very similar to that of Google; thanks to a laser scanner mounted to the roof, (which is responsible for scanning the car’s surroundings) the car is able to manoeuvre, without collisions, whilst constantly respecting the speed limit at each given time.
Further west, German manufacturer Mercedes revealed their new car called Bertha. Unlike Google and Honda's car, which both have a distinctive roof-mounted laser imaging system Bertha uses only discreetly stowed radars and cameras. But it is still to remember that these cars are not 100% autonomous, as they allow direct, live input from the driver.
But coming from the futuristic minds at Tesla, (namely Elon Musk), is their new 100% autonomous vehicle which is due to be released in both the east and west by 2020. Of course, there are dozens of laws and limitations that will prove difficult to overcome. But it’s now clear that we are reaching what is considered ‘the future’.
The ever grossing market of autonomous vehicles just won’t cease to grow.
The autonomous car market is estimated to be worth over $87 billion dollars by 2030, and the smart car market is meant to reach a worth of 27 billion by 2020. The market is expected to continue to grow exponentially, almost transcendently. Here’s a graph that estimates the growth and evolution of the market over the course ofthe next few decades:
(source : Company data, Morgan Stanley Research)
Those are some impressive figures; hopefully the cars can live up to their hype.