General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary Cruise Automation is at the fore of the self-driving car race, just behind Alphabet’s Waymo, according to a report from CNBC. With a large fleet of fully-autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV test cars logging miles in a range of cities including San Francisco, and a semi-autonomous system called “Super Cruise” now available for purchase with the Cadillac CT6, it’s not hard to see why GM is considered a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology.
Waymo is slightly ahead by virtue of having logged the most test miles of anybody, CNBC‘s Phil LeBeau says, and this year, the company will launch a self-driving taxi service in Phoenix and begin deploying autonomous semi trucks to transport freight for Google’s Atlanta data centers.
Still, it’s a field packed with many players, and Phil LeBeau says he wouldn’t be surprised to see another company leading the race in the not-too-distant future. Companies that could conceivably surpass GM and Waymo in the space include established automakers like Daimler and Ford, as well as technology companies like Amazon, Apple, China’s Baidu, and rideshare/ride-hailing networks Uber and Lyft. We can’t write off smaller, relatively unknown startups like Zoox, either, or underdog electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, which many still believe could be the first to market with a production self-driving vehicle.
“Waymo and GM Cruise are widely considered to be ahead of the pack” in the self-driving car race, LeBeau says. “Having said that, it would not be surprising [if] over the next three or four years, Uber, or Lyft, or Baidu, or Daimler – one of the established automakers – very quickly [becomes] the leader in this space.”