Both General Motors and Google’s Waymo division have emerged as leaders in the self-driving car race. However, despite similar approaches, and some key differences, the two companies aren’t quite neck and neck.
And it’s still anyone’s game to emerge as a leader in the blossoming self-driving car sector. Automotive News reported on Monday that GM and Waymo play to different strengths. While Waymo focuses efforts on developing the technology to power self-driving cars (and relies on Fiat-Chrysler for the “hardware,” or vehicle), GM has kept the entire process in-house.
Analysts have declared Waymo is likely about one year ahead of GM in the self-driving car race, but only because Google has worked on the technology longer. Waymo has driven its vehicles in real life far further than GM and the company has reported fewer self-driving disengagements than GM at 63 to 105 total in 2017.
However, the entire race isn’t just about the technology. No company has yet formed a solid business model to open up a revenue stream for self-driving cars. Waymo plans to begin its first self-driving car service in Arizona later this year. GM wants to commercialize self-driving cars sometime in 2019. But, it remains to be seen which company will come to market first with a consumer product.